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OiLibya Kenya boss flight frozen in Sh15bn tax probe

Duncan Murashiki, OiLibya general manager. photo | file
Duncan Murashiki, OiLibya general manager. photo | file 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has asked Immigration officials to stop the Libya Oil Kenya general manager from leaving the country, terming him a flight risk in an ongoing investigation involving a Sh15 billion tax claim.

The taxman has written to the Director of Immigration services seeking to have Duncan Murashiki, a Zimbabwean national, prohibited from leaving the country unless the KRA commissioner revokes the request in writing.

Mr Murashiki, who has filed a suit in court challenging the move, argues that his rights have been infringed on, noting that the oil marketing company has always co-operated in the ongoing investigation and that he is not personally liable for the unpaid taxes.

“Duncan Ziyanai is a Zimbabwe national and therefore poses as a flight risk. This is therefore to request that the said Duncan Murashiki whose particulars are as indicated hereunder be prohibited from leaving the country unless the commissioner revokes this notice in writing,” states the letter to the Immigration boss.

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.

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Mr Murashiki, who joined the firm in July 2014, says he is neither a director nor a shareholder of the company.

He says he is not aware of any tax demand against him as an individual to warrant the KRA’s bid to prohibit his travel.

His three-year contract lapsed in August last year and was extended for two more years until August 2019.

Mr Murashiki has asked the High Court for interim reliefs allowing him to travel outside Kenya pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

He also wants the court to stop KRA and Immigration officers from confiscating his travel documents.

He says that he was not given an opportunity to be heard before the KRA issued the departure prohibition order.

The KRA and Immigration are yet to respond to the suit.

The Oilibya boss has listed the KRA, the Director of Immigration and the Attorney-General as respondents.

This is the second time in less than a year that Mr Murashiki has found himself in controversy.

Early this year he was accused of a Sh1.5 million burglary and theft alongside Joyce Nekoye Wanjala (territory manager), Nancy Waeni Mutune Kwinga (retail manager), Antony Mugo Muraya (network manager), Stanley Njoroge Marete (a contractor for OiLibya) and Libya Oil Kenya.

They were charged with breaking into the Juja Road Service Station from where they allegedly stole 10 units of CCTV system cameras worth Sh400,000, digital video recorders valued at Sh200,000, gas cylinders valued over Sh200,000, lubricants, car wash vacuum cleaner valued Sh30,000 and fuel, all valued at Sh1,530,000, the property of Maced Limited.

Documents filed in the latest suit have revealed details of the huge tax demand covering 2010 to 2016.

In one of the letters dated April 3, 2018, the taxman accuses Mr Murashiki of providing piecemeal information despite numerous follow-ups through email and phone calls. In the correspondence, the KRA informed the firm that its application for tax relief due to loss of stock for the year 2014 was rejected due to lack of evidence showing actual product loss.

The firm was further asked to pay Sh2.3 billion, being arrears of corporate tax for the period 2010 to 2015.

The KRA requested more information and response in seven days, noting that the preliminary findings ‘is not a bar to prosecution where it is established that a tax offence has been committed’.

But in its response OiLibya noted that the KRA did not understand the product management system used by the firm when analysing it, leading to the variance.

It termed the variance on product gain and losses an industry issue that at one time even led to formation of a stakeholders taskforce to streamline it.

The firm noted that the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) is required to publish a summary of gains and losses in the pipeline system for each oil marketing company (OMC) on a bi-annual cycle.

The KRA, the firm said, erred when it computed duties on the gains while not factoring in the corresponding losses.

The firm on its website says it operates a lubricant blending plant in Mombasa, terminals in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret and has a presence at the KPC depots in western Kenya and carries outs its aviation business through the two main airports in Kenya.

TAHL group is fully owned by the government of Libya through the Libyan-African Investment Portfolio (LAP), a government agency set up in 2006 to spearhead a $5 billion investment plan in Africa.

TAHL made its debut in the petroleum distribution and marketing business in Kenya in December 2006 after signing an agreement with ExxonMobil Corporation.

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