Libya Oil Kenya general manager Duncan Murashiki is now free to travel after the High Court lifted a ban imposed on his exit from the country in an ongoing investigation involving Sh15 billion claim by the taxman.
The travel ban was lifted by consent of both parties pending determination of the suit he has filed in court.
Mr Murashiki is Zimbabwean. The taxman wrote to the Director of Immigration Services seeking to have him prohibited from leaving the country unless the KRA commissioner revokes the request in writing, prompting Mr Murashiki to contest the decision in court.
“That until final determination of the petition, an order do issue suspending the departure prohibition order of the 1st and 2nd respondents issued in May 2018 directing the 3rd respondent… to restrain, stop or prohibit the petitioner from departing Kenya,” reads the order by Justice E. Mwita.
Libya Oil Kenya Limited (LOKL), which operates under the trade name OiLibya, is the local subsidiary of Tamoil Africa Holdings Limited (TAHL) and operates 67 petrol stations across the country.
Mr Murashiki, who joined the firm in July 2014, says he is neither a director nor a shareholder of the company. He claims that his rights had been infringed on, arguing that the oil marketing company had co-operated in the ongoing investigation and that he was not personally liable for the unpaid taxes.
He says that he was not given an opportunity to be heard before the KRA issued the departure prohibition order.
The Oilibya boss has listed the KRA, the Director of Immigration and the Attorney-General as respondents. But KRA in its response has defended its decision, noting that he was the general manager in charge of the firm’s operations and that it prohibited his travel to secure the outstanding tax.
It further accuses him of engaging in delay tactics and frustrating the investigation by failing to provide the requested documents.
The taxman says that Mr Murashiki travelled outside the country on May 6 when the travel ban was already in placed and he was arrested at the airport on May 12 when he returned.
However, the taxman says he has since engaged KRA and promised to co-operate and his confiscated passport returned, which hints at behind the scene talks that led to the lifting of the ban.