Clearing agents at the port of Mombasa want Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to remove a senior manager who has become a pain in their ass.
The traders have appealed to KRA to overhaul its investigation and enforcement team.
The Kenya Freight Forwarders and Warehouse Association (KIFWA) claim the Investigation and Enforcement office has been causing unnecessary delays that are costly to their work.
According to traders, one of the supervisors Abdiakim Omar has been detaining containers to ostensibly conduct a personal verification which at times takes upto to two weeks.
KIFWA argues that the delays mean an extra Sh200,000 in storage charges, a cost that is passed to importers.
“We have been incurring extra costs due to the detaining of our containers which have already been cleared by customs. One of the officers demands a bribe of Sh50,000 per container and failure to part with the cash, the container is detained for 15 days,” KIFWA committee member Emerton Mwakina said.
Mwakina who is a General Manager of Imani Logistics says over 40 of KIFWA members have complained to KRA but no action has been taken.
“We are appealing to KRA to consider overhauling the Investigation and Enforcement team. We have no problem with other offices. And as members we comply with tax obligations as required by law,” he said.
KRA recently began a new policy of opening containers to compute taxes per item instead of per kilogram.
This already importers said has led to increment of cost of cargo with KIFWA saying any delay in releasing containers means another extra charge for traders.
According to port users, Omar has been chest thumping that he is untouchable and has made millions of shillings from the dirty deals which he has used of acquire residential property in Utawala and Donholm areas of Embakasi.
He was initially stationed in Eldoret but was recalled to KRA’s Upperhill office where the department of Investigations and Enforcement is domiciled following similar complaints.
However during the helm of Mburu Githii, Omar was taken to Mombasa where he has been harrasing importers sns clearing agents.
It’s now upto to KRA Acting Commissioner General Rispa Simiyu and Commissioner Investigations and Enforcement Yego to act and safe the situation.