27 May 2019

Kenya: Uhuru Storms KRA Depot After City Traders Complain of Delays - Photos

Photo: PSCU/Nairobi News
President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi on May 27, 2019.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday morning made an impromptu visit to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi where seized containers are being stored.

The visit was prompted by complaints by traders whose goods have been confiscated.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been blamed for delays in clearing cargo at the port of Mombasa and the inland depot in Nairobi.

There are claims the situation has been compounded by KRA employees who are said to be on a go-slow to protest what they perceive as harassment of their colleagues.

The delays have been largely attributed to staff changes at KRA following interdiction of 75 officials who were linked to illegal cargo clearance and irregular issuance of tax compliance certificates.

According to transport players, the internal staff changes are negatively affecting movement of cargo at the port and ICD.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and heads of the multi-agency task force.

Two weeks ago, long distance transporters complained about increasing cost of doing business, attributing this to delay by KRA to provide cargo tracking seals.

The transporters said they were incurring demurrage charges as most of the containers had to stay longer in the yard while drivers are demanding pay for job not done.

Earlier this month, Directorate of Criminal Investigations detective nabbed 41 suspects, who are part of the 75 officials interdicted by the KRA for being part of a tax evasion racket.

The 75 employees are said to have been aiding and abetting evasion of taxes by facilitating irregular clearance of cargo and executing fraudulent amendments of tax returns.

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