Economy

Loitering in KRA offices to attract Sh5,000 fine

KRA

KRA head office at Times Towers in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • KRA offices countrywide have been officially listed as protected areas.
  • Unauthorised people in KRA premises have been accused of colluding with staff in abetting tax evasion and bribery.
  • Persons contravening the order face a maximum Sh5,000 fine or a jail term of up to two years or both on conviction under the Protected Areas Act.

Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i has officially listed the headquarters of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and its offices countrywide as protected areas, keeping them out of bounds for persons not on official duty.

In a gazette notice issued under the Protected Areas Order, persons found loitering in KRA premises without permission of the Commissioner-General James Mburu will be arrested and prosecuted.

Unauthorised people in KRA premises have been accused of colluding with staff in abetting tax evasion and bribery

Persons contravening the order face a maximum Sh5,000 fine or a jail term of up to two years or both on conviction under the Protected Areas Act. The penalty doubles to a maximum of Sh10,000 or a jail term of five years or both if the offenders are found to be in possession of arms, ammunition, explosives which they lawfully own.

“The areas, places or premises described in the schedule are declared to be protected areas for purposes of the Act and no per­son shall be in the specified areas without permission of the prescribed authority or the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government,” Dr Matiang’i says in the notice.

The order comes amid prosecution of more than 70 KRA staff for helping to fraudulently clear cargo and alter tax returns to help people dodge tax payments.

The law not only pro­hibits people from accessing protected areas without permission but also makes it illegal to make sketches, obtain records or transmit information about them through such medium as photography.

Some of the areas covered under the law include military barracks, weapons factories, govern­ment mines, camps, State House and Lodges, signal stations, military ships, foreign embassies, consulates, Central Bank of Kenya premises, among others.

The taxman is under the law required to take precautions it deems necessary to prevent inadvertent or accidental entry into the protected area during the hours of darkness.