KRA ‘ignored’ court on Sh1.17b workers’ money

The taxman’s decision to take Sh1.17 billion from the Nairobi county government was politically motivated and aimed to paralysis its operations, Governor Evans Kidero said on Thursday.

He accused the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of collaborating with the Central Bank of Kenya to frustrate his administration.

“You will recall that some people had vowed to take Nairobi City County by hook or crook. This is one of those moves to paralyse our operations,” Dr Kidero said.

The county chief was speaking when he met members of the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya in Nairobi.

Kidero said KRA had ignored a court order that had barred it from taking the money.

He added that the county government had challenged KRA’s action, citing contempt of court.

“Right now we are in court but when they realised that, yesterday they wrote a letter to Cooperative Bank, National Bank, and Central Bank to observe the court order, but after they took Sh1.17 billion,” he said.

The push-and-pull between the two authorities has led to delay in the payment of the county’s more than 12,000 workers. Kidero said there was no cause for alarm as his administration was exploring alternative ways to pay the workers.

County Secretary Robert Ayisi had said City Hall officials were exploring other avenues of resolving the dispute, including meeting with Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and taking legal action.

He said that he had sent out a memo to workers informing them that their salaries had been delayed “due to unavoidable circumstances”.

Kidero exuded confidence that he would be re-elected for a second term, citing his development record.

“Nairobi residents will give me another opportunity because they want predictability, reliability, consistency, and dependability, and the only person who can give them that is me,” he said.