DPP Haji: KRA officers will be 'arrested soon'

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji with his deputy Dorcas Oduor during a meeting for the review of the strategic plan for the office of Director of Prosecutions (ODPP) at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji yesterday said a number of KRA senior officers will be arrested in the coming days for aiding tax evasion.

Haji said several local and international investors who have failed to remit billions of shillings in taxes in the past five years will also be arrested and prosecuted.

“Investigations have revealed that there is major tax evasion and we will charge senior KRA managers and all those involved regardless of their status,” he said.

The DPP was speaking at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha after opening a five-day workshop for his officers who are working on five-year strategic plan.

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This came days after the owners of Keroche Breweries Tabitha and Joseph Karanja were arrested and charged with Sh14 billion tax evasion.

According to the DPP, his office had intensified the fight against tax evasion and no one would be spared.

Haji said tax evaders were taking advantage of the ineffective and slow process of KRA tribunal to recover taxes, adding that this would be reviewed.

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He defended the arrest of the Karanjas, saying they had defied earlier summons and mechanisms to pay dues owed to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

Tender award

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“We will not spare anyone, be it a local or international investor, in the war against corruption and tax evasion,” he said.

Haji also confirmed that they would be interrogating two cabinet secretaries in relation to the tender award for the Sh28.9 billion Itare Dam project in Nakuru County.

“We have lined up two CS for questioning over the dam just like we did in Kimwarer and Arror dams and we will make a decision once we are done with the investigations,” he said.

He, however, denied that he was in Dubai to investigate the case, saying he had travelled abroad for personal reasons.

He defended the arrest of senior government officials and influential individuals over corruption, despite zero convictions, adding that it was up to the Judiciary to jail the suspects.

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“We are asking the Judiciary to fast-track cases and we are also ready for plea-bargain,” said Haji.

The DPP said his office was in the process of recruiting more personnel to be able to effectively prosecute the increasing number of corruption cases.

“We are working with SRC so that the salaries of the ODPP can be at the same level with that of the Judiciary,” he said.

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