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Professor Tom Ojienda Acquires Orders That Forbid Prosecution Over Unpaid Taxes

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been barred from starting any criminal proceedings against Prof. Tom Ojienda.

The member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) filed a case in court seeking to stop his arrest over alleged unpaid taxes for the period from 2009 to 2016.

In November, Justice Chacha Mwita granted the orders prohibiting the officials, agents, servants and employees of KRA from starting “any civil or criminal proceedings, arresting, summoning, questioning, threatening or in any way harassing (Prof Ojienda) with respect to any tax issues or questions for the period 2009 to 2016”.

A KRA official, who sought anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told the Daily Nation that “That means we cannot touch Prof Ojienda.”

The taxman had previously demanded Ksh443.6 million from Prof Ojienda as tax due for the period 2009 to 2016, and a further Ksh378.6 million for the period 2011 to 2016.

However, in May 2018, the demand was quashed by Justice George Odunga, who accused KRA of being unreasonable and irrational.

The authority stated that the money had been received from a local sugar company and the County Government of Nairobi.

KRA officials are raising alarm over the continued use of courts by the country’s billionaires and super elite to escape payment of taxes, which for years have been the burden of the middle class.

Rather than go through the Tax Appeals Tribunal — the body mandated by law to hear such cases — they have been getting court orders that stop KRA in its tracks whenever they receive a demand notice from the taxman.

So far, a highly placed source told the reporters that KRA has been stopped from collecting a total of Ksh40 billion from such individuals and entities through the courts.

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