Njiraini to stay at KRA until court rules on retirement

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner-general John Njiraini. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner-general John Njiraini. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner-general John Njiraini will continue serving as the chief taxman, pending the determination of a case seeking his removal.

Justice Nelson Abuodha Tuesday ruled that the case should be concluded before March 3, the date when Mr Njiraini is expected to have left office.

While ruling on the suit filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, Justice Aboudha said Mr Njiraini is a man of means and can be ordered to refund whatever money he would have received as KRA boss, if the court finds that he is in office illegally.

The judge declined to order Mr Njiraini to step aside pending determination of the case.

He directed the KRA board, through lawyer Waweru Gatonye, and other respondents to file any additional papers within 20 days and Mr Omtatah to file any responses 10 days later.

The case will be mentioned on February 7.

Mr Omtatah argues that Mr Njiraini should be on terminal leave pending retirement, having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on December 19.

He wants the court to compel the KRA board of directors and Treasury secretary Henry Rotich to appoint an acting commissioner- general.

He accuses the board and Mr Rotich of neglecting their duties, and breaching the law on the 60-year mandatory retirement age for public officials.

“Whereas there is no constitutional or statutory retirement age for public servants in Kenya, there is a clear government policy (i.e., statutory instruments) on the mandatory retirement age in the public service,” he states in the petition.

The activist says the Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual for the Public Service, dated May 2016, provide that the mandatory retirement age for all officers shall be 60 years and 65 years for the disabled.