KRA chief Githii Mburu quits, board names Rispah Simiyu in acting role


KRA commissioner general Githii Mburu resigned on February 23, 2023. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General Githii Mburu has resigned after a three-year and seven months stint at the seat on the 30th floor of Nairobi's Times Tower.

Recently appointed KRA board chairman Anthony Mwaura made the announcement Thursday, including an executive shakeup.

“The board has today received the resignation letter of the Commissioner General Githii Mburu who resigned to pursue personal interests,” Mr Mwaura said. 

In his place, the board has named the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes, Rispah Simiyu, to serve in an interim role “until the position is substantively and competitively filled.”

Executive reshuffle

In other executive changes, the board named Pamela Ahago to replace Ms Simiyu at the domestic taxes’ unit in an acting capacity.

Other appointments are David Mwangi as the acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Control, David Yego as Commissioner of Intelligence, Strategic Operations, Investigation and Enforcement, and Nancy Ng’etich as acting Commissioner of Corporate Support Services.

Mohamed Omar, Fred Mugambi and Paul Matuku retain their current posts as commissioners for Strategy Innovation and Risk Management, Kenya School of Revenue Administration and Legal Services and Board Coordination, respectively.

The leadership change at the tax agency comes barely three months after the board chair Francis Muthaira, the former Head of Public Service, was replaced by Mr Mwaura, a close friend of President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, in November last year.

Just last month, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u replaced five of seven directors of the KRA board with Darshan Shah, Wilkister Simiyu, Fancy Too, Michael Kamau Kamiru, and Samir Ibrahim.

He sent home Charles Omanga, Leonard Ithau, Susan Mudhune, Mukesh Shah, and Richard Opembe, leaving Sally Mahihu and Maryann Njau.

The Constitution allows the President to appoint the chairperson of the KRA board of directors, while the Treasury CS appoints the rest of the members.

No-nonsense chief

Mr Mburu was a long-time insider at the KRA's audit and intelligence units before he was appointed commissioner general in July 2019 to replace John Njiraini.

The no-nonsense tax chief, whose tenure was characterised by an intensified campaign against individuals and firms for non-tax compliance, has over two decades of experience in tax administration, finance, policy, strategy, development and implementation.

His intense pursuit of alleged tax evaders, especially under the last government, drew the outcry of the current Kenya Kwanza administration, accusing him of intimidation and harassment. Analysts see the change in leadership to have set off a chain of events that have led to Mr Mburu’s replacement.

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