More than 100 Kenya Revenue Authority employees implicated in the ongoing tax evasion purge are now facing summary dismissal with a contentious clause in their employment contract returning to haunt the affected junior members of staff.
This is happening as a major scam involving printing of stamps by KRA by a foreign firm Swipco is on with key players getting kickbacks payments via Stanchart Bank South Africa.
Whereas a section of the board wants summary dismissal, others are of the view that they be suspended and allowed the court to make final ruling. Those opting for suspension say that if the court finds them not guilty, KRA will be forced to absorb them back and also pay millions of shillings in damages, salaries and allowances.
The naming of Paul Matuku as commissioner legal service is aimed at dealing with legal puzzles in the sackings.Fred Mwirigi now heads Kenya school on Revenue Administration.
KRA board members are Francis Muthaura (chairman) Charles Omanga, Leonard Ithau and Susan Mudhune. Muthaura is pushing for the sacking of the affected. Also torn is the legal department at KRA and the human resource.
Insiders say Uhuru Kenyatta was briefed of the purge and gave a green light that can effectively help KRA achieve its collection goals. Those opposed to the sacking were at one time accused of protecting their relatives implicated who they helped land key positions at KRA or were beneficiaries of graft in one way or another.
Those opting for sacking, according to insider sources well versed with the goings on, base on a clause embedded in the employment contract providing for summary dismissal for alleged involvement in activities that amount to breach of employment contract, have raised feelers at Times Towers, the KRA headquarters, together with those either under investigation or already arraigned in court facing the axe.
Already, dozens of junior staff suspected of being part of a tax evasion racket said to have cost the loss of billions of shillings have been indicted and have since been arraigned in court.
Waiting in the wings are interns, who KRA and the National Intelligence Service now want, absorbed to fill vacancies arising from the purge, partly linked to silent push and pull to succeed outgoing commissioner-general John Njiraini.
Junior staffs have fingered out James Mburu, the commissioner for intelligence and strategic operations, for orchestrating their troubles. Mburu purge as it is referred to is likely to see him succeed John Njiraini as he is of late frequently seen at state house. But insiders say that Njiraini is lobbying to have Mburu as commissioner general to cover up a major stamps printing scandal. Njiraini and Mburu are said to be close buddies, with sources saying the outgoing KRA boss actually created the new position to accommodate Mburu’s desire to take over from him.
The position Mburu holds currently was specifically created for him to marktime awaiting the exit of Njiraini.
Njiraini was recently recalled from his terminal leave purportedly to manage the situation after the KRA was rocked by one of the biggest corruption purges to hit a state corporation in the country.
Over 100 KRA employees were arrested in Nairobi and Mombasa over tax evasion allegations.
The employees are to be sacked going by current events.