Kenya's tax authority says tackling corruption, misconduct - CNBC Africa

Kenya's tax authority says tackling corruption, misconduct

East Africa

by Reuters 0

President Kenyatta has suspend several ministers as graft charges are investigated.

Kenya's tax authority has launched a campaign to encourage people to report evasion and to crack down on staff misconduct, it said on Tuesday, after media allegations of corruption.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said it will vet staff for misconduct and step up efforts to prevent abuses when calculating customs charges.

Companies and investors cite pervasive graft as one of the biggest challenges to doing business in Kenya and U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue when he visited in July.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised a crackdown and several ministers have been suspended as graft charges are investigated. But critics want more action, such as high-profile prosecutions, to show that no one is above the law.

"KRA welcomes public scrutiny into tax administration operations, including the conduct of its staff," the agency said in a statement, adding it had a web-based system to receive information from the public on "tax evasion and corruption".

It published the statement in newspapers on Tuesday, saying it was responding to allegations in Kenya's Sunday Nation weekly on pricing and duties on secondhand vehicle imports. The KRA said it wanted the newspaper to share more details.

It also listed steps it had taken to prevent mispricing of imported vehicles. From Dec. 1, certificates issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards would be required to clear cargo through customs to prevent any "misdeclaring of goods entering Kenya".

Western trade and aid partners have often urged Kenya to do more to halt corruption.

"As I have said many times, corruption is undermining Kenya's future," U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, said on Monday when discussing a U.S. trade deal with Africa. "It is destroying jobs and causing investors to take their money elsewhere."