Tax hurdle for Otachi as MPs grill six for NLC chair position

Friday, September 20th, 2019 00:00 |

The vetting of Gershom Otachi to the post of National Land Commission (NLC) chair was yesterday hit by confusion over tax compliance certificate.

Appearing before the National Assembly Lands committee, Otachi was at pains to explain the conflicting communication from the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) on compliance. 

On Wednesday night, KRA is said to have written to the House committee that it had not issued Otachi with a Compliance Certificate, but yesterday morning, the nominee tabled a duly signed clearance certificate from the tax agency.

But addressing the committee chaired by Kitui Central MP Rachel Nyamai, Otachi said he obtained the clearance when he was applying for the  position when it was advertised by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The matter was brought to the attention of the committee by Nyamai and Cherengany counterpart Joshua Kutuny, who wanted the anomaly explained.

In her statement, Nyamai told vetting committee members that the Wednesday letter to the House was signed by KRA Domestic Taxes commissioner Edward Mbogo.

“The document which is signed by a Mr Edward Mbogo arrived last evening and our clerks proceeded to notify the nominee,” she said.

Nyamai said KRA Commissioner General James Mburu has been summoned to appear before the committee this morning to shed light on the matter.

Ottachi, who said his net worth stands at Sh200 million, told the committee the document is dated June 18 2019 and runs for a year up to June 2020.

If appointed, Ottachi said he will begin with ordering a forensic audit of the organization that has been dogged with unending controversies. 

Former Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi, NLC was not a football match or a dancing completion that would primarily require physical energy after it emerged she is 65. She said her net worth is Sh320 million.

“If anything, I can run faster than many MPs in this committee. Those asking you about my age I would like to tell you that I am not joining the National Land Commission to play football or to join advance competition,” she said.

The question came after Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo sought to know whether she is energetic enough to carry out her duties, adding that he was concerned about age because he was pro-youth in line with Jubilee government’s pledge to create jobs for the youth.

But Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara came to Murugi’s defense saying they should not judge her based on the colour of her hair but on what she can deliver.

Former Egerton University Vice Chancellor James Tuitoek, who said his net worth is Sh145 million, and clarified that he is not the same person who was illegally allocated land belonging to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in Magarini, Kilifi.

Others who were vetted yesterday include Getrude Nguku, Reginald Okumu and former Labour CS Kazungu Kambi.

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