KRA keeps CEO search within club of accountants
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 21:24
By GEORGE OMONDI
The Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) board has stuck to its tradition of preferring insiders and accountants as it narrows the search for the next commissioner-general to five candidates.
Three out of the five shortlisted applicants have served in various roles at the KRA while the other two have held influential positions in the accounting field.
They were picked from a list of 30 who had submitted their applications for the job that has been held by John Njiraini since March 2012.
The tradition of picking the KRA boss from among accounting professionals and acquaintances took root in the Kibaki era, when Amos Kimunya, was as finance minister.
Mr Kimunya, the finance minister between 2006 and 2008, is a former Institute of Certified Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) chairman.
Michael Waweru, who succeeded Mr Kimunya as ICPAK chairman, ascended to the influential job of KRA commissioner-general and served for three terms. He would later be succeeded by Mr Njiraini, who served as ICPAK’s chief executive under both Mr Kimunya and Mr Waweru.
The shortlisted candidates include current ICPAK chairman Julius Waita Mwatu, who is also the group chief finance officer at Indigo Telecom where he oversees strategy, finance and risk.
Also in the list is Richard Boro Ndung’u, founder director of Veritatem (Kenya) Limited, a financial advisory, training and consultancy company.
Mr Ndung’u is also an established accountant, having served as regional head of tax and corporate services at KPMG East Africa before rising to become the audit firm’s first Kenyan chief executive and senior partner.
Insiders include Andrew Okello, the electronic tax registers (ETR) architect who previously served as the commissioner for domestic taxes until his 2016 secondment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
James Githii Mburu currently serves as the KRA’s commissioner for intelligence and strategic operations. Duncan Onduru, the executive director of UK-based Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators, was KRA acting deputy commissioner between July 2010 and April 2012.