NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26-President William Ruto has warned staff at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) against engaging in corruption.
Ruto said this when he filed his annual tax returns during a visit to the KRA headquarters at Times Towers in Nairobi.
“Revenue collection is riddled with corruption and this must stop,” the president said during the visit accompanied by his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua.
President Ruto said that he has always endeavored to be fully tax-compliant and to remit all his taxes as the exercise is not a mere dramatization or other empty public performance.
“It is my duty and indeed the duty of every citizen of Kenya, to pay my share of taxes to enable the government to provide essential public services,” he said.
He continued by saying that even though taxes are required and unavoidable, the government must foster trust that they will be administered fairly, effectively, and efficiently, and that money will be allocated and spent in a way that is transparent, accountable, and serves the interests of everyone.
The head of state urged the Kenya Revenue Authority administration and the national government to manage public resources with professionalism, openness, efficiency, fairness, accountability, and honesty.
“A government that seeks to mobilize tax revenues must inspire confidence that tax administration will be fair, effective, efficient and that the allocation and expenditure of the finances will be undertaken transparently and accountably in pursuit of agreed public good,” he added.
“This means that the revenue administration agency must be professional, efficient, fair, transparent, and accountable. It also means that the government is expected to be an honest and vigilant steward of public resources.”
He added that collusion, wanton bribe-taking and general corruption continue to pervade operations of KRA, in facilitating tax evasion, in massive leakages of potential revenue and inability to meet revenue targets.
Ruto said a culture of corruption, collusion, inefficiency, and unprofessionalism is much more costly to the country than any efficient technology ever will be.
“It is therefore imperative that the authority urgently undertake serious and effective culture change throughout the organization and expeditiously adopt and implement the best technologies to facilitate efficient revenue mobilization,” he said.
“This means KRA must stop the tiresome drama of pretending to be fighting with stakeholders over new technology and avoid irritating Kenyans with proposals to spend billions of shillings on irrelevant projects. Kenyans expect no less, deserve no less, and are entitled to no less.”