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KRA appeals against tax compliance certificate order for Ojienda




Lawyer Tom Ojienda. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority has appealed against a High Court order that it issues lawyer Tom Ojienda with a tax compliance certificate at a time when the taxman is demanding Sh443.6 million arrears from the advocate.

KRA says that High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany erred in issuing the order, arguing that the directive will make the lawyer tax-compliant despite a row over tax arrears. The judge on Tuesday ruled that Prof Ojienda has established that he has a solid case and will suffer prejudice if the order is not granted.

Prof Ojienda had sued KRA arguing that denying him tax clearance was calculated to sabotage his race to be voted as the lawyers’ representative on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

“The learned judge erred by failing to take into consideration the appellant’s submissions that there is an outstanding tax dispute between the appellant and the 1st respondent in which the appellant has demanded an amount of Sh443, 631,900 hence he cannot be said to be someone who is tax compliant,” says the KRA in its appeal.

The tax compliance certificate is a requirement for those seeking to represent the Law Society of Kenya on the JSC.

The nomination of candidates is set to close on December 10, ahead of the election slated for early next year. Justice Okwany in her ruling observed that KRA failed to state what loss it will suffer if the order is issued.

Prof Ojienda is also separately fighting off the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) which he says plans to arrest him allegedly due to forged entries in his tax register and fictitious figures of his payments in legal fees.

On November 2, High Court judge Chacha Mwita prohibited the DCI and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from starting civil or criminal proceedings against Prof Ojienda in respect to the tax issue.

Prof Ojiendo is being investigated over loss of public funds at Mumias Sugar Company, the DCI has revealed.

The DCI says in response to a suit seeking to block its investigation that it is pursuing the top lawyer over loss of the money at the Nairobi bourse-listed miller.