Treasury CS Henry Rotich has appointed James Githii Mburu to replace John Njiraini as the new Director-General of KRA. Through a gazette notice, Mburu will serve as the chief taxman for the next three years, starting July 1st.
Prior to his appointment, Mburu served as KRA’s Commissioner for Intelligence and Strategic Operations. The appointment comes at a time when KRA is facing a major crisis over the arrest of 75 employees who were accused of abetting tax evasion and money laundering. The employees allegedly facilitated irregular clearance of cargo and fraudulently amended tax returns.
However, blogger Robert Alai accused senior managers at KRA of trying to get rid of employees who do not come from the Mt. Kenya region.
This week’s arrest of junior KRA staff is not war on tax avoidance but basically ethnic cleansing at KRA. Go through that list and ask yourself what Mburu was after.
The new Commissioner-General has himself been accused of being a stooge of Njiraini and who has risen from the position of a mere officer to a commissioner in less than five years.
Alai’s sentiments are shared by an anonymous contributor through an article published on blogger Cyprian Nyakundi’s blog. The unknown author accuses Mburu of massive corruption, misuse of office and tribal appointments.
Below is the excerpt as posted on cynyakundi.com:
“Githii Mburu is KRA Commissioner for strategic operations. His work is to finish all non kikuyus in management positions in KRA.. He has irregularly risen from a mere officer 5 years ago to the rank of Commissioner due to him being a stooge of Njiraini. He is facing a court case challenging his appointment as Commissioner.
Mburu has been sacking officers in KRA & boasts of close connections with statehouse. He has been protecting one Karanja of Investigations & Kaguru of Customs from facing corruption & abuse of office charges. Mburu receives hefty bribes from Kaguru & Mike Njeru in mombasa to allow them operate with impunity.
Mburu is currently being used to finish one aspirant for the position of Commissioner of Customs by bringing trump up charges because he is not Kikuyu & Njiraini does not want him. he has recruited Kikuyu & Merus only in his department. Mburu hides under the guise of Multi Agency cover to frustrate traders & Clearing agents. he demands protection money of over 20m per month from traders or face dubious charges and punishment.
Mburu has been sabotaging David Yego, commissioner Investigations and pushing for dissolution of Yegos docket.
This is not the first time Mburu has been ‘rejected’. In 2017, activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court seeking to have KRA barred from creating the Intelligence and Strategic Operations commissioner position, to which Mburu was appointed. Omtatah, in his petition, pointed out that Mburu had failed in his bid for another position, hence was not suitable to hold the new post.
“Mburu unsuccessfully competed for the position of Commissioner Investigation and Enforcement. Clearly, the Board having found him not suitable for the appointment through a competitive and merit-based process cannot legitimately handpick him to the new position,” he said.
Clearly, Omtatah did not have his way as Mburu was indeed appointed and has held the said position until his appointment as KRA chief on June 6th, 2019. Not one to give up though, the activist was back in Court on May 30th, 2019, to block Mburu’s latest appointment, a case Omtatah once again appears to have lost.