Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will soon require its staff in critical departments to wear 'body cameras' in a renewed fight against tax cheating, the tax man has revealed.
Speaking to a local daily, KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu said the body-worn cameras, commonly used by the police in the United States, will mainly be used by employees working in the domestic tax and customs and border control departments.
With the roll-out, the KRA boss said, the agency hopes to reduce cases of graft and meet its tax mandate.
In the past, some KRA employees have been accused of colluding with unscrupulous traders to abet tax cheating by fraudulently clearing cargo and altering tax returns.
"Very soon we will also be ensuring our enforcement officers have body-worn cameras, like the ones you see in the US, so that any action they take is recorded and we can see it. When you put it off, we will also have to understand why you do it," Mburu told Business Daily in an interview.
"This is so that as you engage out there, you do not get involved in activities that will compromise our objectives. We have to employ risk management where our risks are highest, so they will be more for our officers at border points where things are moving in and out and all our custom areas."
KRA staff arrested
In November 2020, at least 40 KRA employees were arrested for abetting tax evasion.
Investigations led by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed that the staffers ran a criminal enterprise that helped some taxpayers dodge duty payments.
In another case of suspected fraud, a former KRA employee had his assets worth Ksh278 million frozen by the state in May 2022 after failing to explain how he acquired the wealth.
Jeremiah Kinyua is said to have acquired the massive properties between 2012 and 2022 despite earning a net income of Ksh11.6 million within the period.
The property, suspected to have been acquired through corruption, includes a vehicle, twelve parcels of land located in Ruiru, Kiambu, five plots in Githunguri, Kiambu, a piece of land in Laikipia, and another plot in Nairobi.