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Former KRA manager reveals how Raila, Uhuru tried to help close associates evade tax

Former Kenya Revenue Authority Director-General Michael Waweru has revealed how he revealed several calls from top government officials and influential people in the country to help them or their associates evade paying taxes.

At the time, Waweru say that the government, led by former President Mwai Kibaki put various measures that derailed political interference in tax collection.

“As the person charged with overseeing the collection of government revenue, that sometimes put me on a collision course with powerful figures who tried to use their offices to avoid paying tax or shield relatives and friends on KRA’s radar for avoiding tax,” Waweru said in his new book, Kenya’s Tax Czar. 

Waweru reveals that some of the people that approached him so that he could help their associates evade tax are former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

“At one time KRA issued an agency notice to a cigarette manufacturing company asking them to pay money they owed us. The next thing I received was a phone call from Raila Odinga, who at the time was Prime Minister.”

“Commissioner-General, please tell Mr xxx (would reveal the name for legal reasons) to lift the agency notice against my friend,” Waweru quoted the ODM party leader.

Waweru, however, declined the request, a move that he claims put him at crossroads with Raila.

“I am the coordinator of government; how come I don’t have the power (to seek favour from KRA)?” Raila asked the former KRA boss.

At another time another tax issue rose about suspicious cargo coming into the country through Eldoret International Airport. Waweru said claimed that the owners of the cargo declined to comply with some requirements.

He said that the owners of the cargo instead turned to Uhuru Kenyatta, who at the time was the Deputy Prime Minister after KRA declined to clear the cargo.

“Uhuru called me and said: ‘Can you come to my office? I want us to sort out this matter about Eldoret Aiport,”

Waweru said he also declined Uhuru’s request explaining to him that if he went to his office as he requested, “all tax matters2` would be resolved in Uhuru’s office”.

Waweru also claimed that DP Ruto also contacted him regarding the same matter but still refused to clear the cargo without proper documentation.

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    Written by George Okello

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