Kenya revenue agency staff arrested in anti-graft swoop

Dozens of state officials in Kenya have been arrested in what is billed as the biggest anti-corruption operation in the country.

The employees of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are being accused of conspiracy in tax evasion and facilitating access to services through bribery that may have cost the country huge sums of money.

Runaway corruption among state officials in Kenya is the biggest challenge to the administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In what could be the biggest anti-corruption operation at a state agency, the 40 suspects were rounded up over the weekend in the capital Nairobi.

A total of 75 employees of KRA, many of them clerks and supervisors, have been interdicted for aiding individuals and companies evade paying taxes.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the suspects will be arraigned in court to face charges of corruption and abuse of office.

The magnitude of the rot at the state agency came to light after months of investigations by undercover sleuths from the investigating agency who were working as interns at KRA headquarters in Nairobi.

The raid at the revenue agency, while seen as a move in the right direction, is a mere drop in the ocean in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

Critics argue the KRA operation may not yield much as long as the anti-corruption war appears to target mainly junior staff while the big fish remain at large.

Kenya’s anti-fraud agency, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, estimates that the country loses about $6bn (£4.6bn) to corruption every year.

Runway graft in the public service remains a big headache to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second and final term in office.


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