For a second time, officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Nairobi County Finance Minister Charles Kerich, Finance Chief Officer Benson Njoroge, and officers from State Departments of ICT & Digital Economy and Internal Security and National Administration in charge of Nairobi Revenue System failed to appear before the Ad hoc committee on the decline of revenue collection.
In a letter to the Assembly clerk, the revenue collector indicated the Deputy Commissioner in charge of revenue collection Anastacia Githuba would be attending as they provided their response where on the contrary she did not.
However, a letter by Acting County Secretary Patrick Anallo indicated that the CECM and CFO would be appearing before the committee on January 22, 2024, When KRA officials would also be appearing; nine days before when the committee is expected to table the report before the assembly.
“The county executive would not be able to appear before the committee due to a pre-scheduled training that is ongoing starting today. We request that the meeting be rescheduled to Monday, January 22, 2024, at 10:00 am together with the KRA team.” The letter by Anallo sent via WhatsApp during the ongoing meeting stated in part.
According to the clerk in charge of legislative affairs at the assembly, witnesses tend to buy time for their convenience on when to appear for summons hence the committee remains the one to determine when they are to appear.
The committee Chairman who is the majority leader and Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok therefore gave a direction for the summoned persons to appear before the committee on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
“Witnesses tend to buy time by making their convenience on when to appear before the committee. But according to the parliamentary orders, this committee is not bound to the said date of January 22, hence they are allowed to determine when they should appear.” Deputy clerk legislative affairs previously stated.
Imwatok still reiterated that there may be a conflict of interest between KRA and the county.
On Tuesday, the registrar of Companies told ad hoc that the systems used by Nairobi County have never been registered as companies.
The committee is expected to have site visits next week to several companies and revenue sectors in the county like the parking.
As of day sixty of the ongoing investigations by the committee, it has been revealed that Nairobi City County has been losing lots of revenue due to the failure of the systems for revenue collection.
The lack of an audit also makes it impossible to know the revenue collected.
Previously, the committee was told the system known as Nairobi Revenue Service (NRS) is a national government multi-agency product in which state security organs led by the Ministry of Interior were involved in developing it.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior gave a report back to the county indicating that they are still looking for the documents to show who was in charge of building the system servers.
Also, it was still revealed by the KRA team that Benson Njoroge has been the contact person ever since NMS when the system failed.
This is what led to the summoning of Benson Njoroge, and officers from State Departments of ICT & Digital Economy and Internal Security and National Administration who has not replied to the summoning nor appeared before the committee.
There are claims that there are plans to ‘make up’ a Benson Njoroge to appear before the committee for the query.
On his part Dandora 2 MCA said that if the witnesses fail to appear next week then the committee should be forced to take further action by summoning individuals.