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Revenue official put to task over graft at KRA

BUSIA
By | July 19th 2011

By Isaiah Lucheli

A Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Assistant Commissioner was taken to task over rampant corruption and tribalism at the institution.

Captain (rtd) Collins Wanderi was hard pressed by Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to explain what role he had played to fight graft and wide spread tribalism in KRA.

"Nine out of 10 Kenyans view the KRA as being dominated by people from Central province. You have been doing a lot of writing on issues that affect the society why have you not high lighted this or organised picketing?" commissioner Ahmednasir Abdulahi posed during the interview for High Court judges.

However, Wanderi defended himself saying he was a junior officer at the authority who was bound by the code of conduct.

He said the onus of reforming or addressing the challenges lay with the KRA board.

"My lords I have personal obligations to take care of. In the authority’s hierarchy I am in the fourth tier and this does not put me in a position to correct the injustices going on in the authority," he said.

However, responding to a question from commissioner Christine Mango over widespread corruption in KRA, Wanderi said he had managed to handle more than 390 corruption-related cases since 2007.

"I receive many complaints daily in the course of my duty at the authority. What I do after receiving complaints is open an investigation panel and try to establish the truth about the allegations and recommend a course of action," he added.

Cartels

He admitted that corruption was entrenched in the country and some unscrupulous individuals were creating cartels and syndicates of corruption through recruitment of staff who were their relatives.

"The problem that we are experiencing in many Government institutions is not ethnicity. It is nepotism. High ranking officials are creating cartels of corruption using their close relatives," he said.

Mr Ahmednasir further questioned the officer over his articles, which he termed as jingoistic and wondered why he was a pro-government operative.

Among Wanderi’s writings, which Ahmednasir queried include articles on Mau Forest, Mt Elgon security operation, creation of electoral boundaries and security.

"You know the role that the Administration Police played in the disputed 2007 presidential election. Why did you fail to indicate even in a single paragraph or sentence over the role they played?" posed Ahmednasir.

The commissioner added that since President Kibaki took over the rift between the APs and regular police had widened due to budgetary allocations by The Treasury.

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