BY SAM ALFAN.
Kenya Revenue Authority has denied claims that its decision to deny Prof Tom Ojienda Tax Compliance Certificate is meant to interfere with his application bid to renew his position at the Judicial Service Commission.
In it response to suit filed by Prof Ojienda, the taxman says issuing him with tax certificate, to allow him defend his position in the forthcoming polls would amount to favouritism.
Prof Ojienda is one of the two LAw Society of Kenya representative to the JSC. The other representative is Ms Mercy Deche Mwara whose term is yet to expire.
In the defence the tax agency said with pending outstanding tax dispute, a tax compliance certificate cannot be issued as it would be a self-defeating exercise.
“One of the conditions imposed by the commissioner is that a taxpayer ought to have paid up all his outstanding tax liability”. said KRA.
The taxman further said the content of the Prof Ojienda’s letter dated 14 and 16, November 2018 that failure to issue the petitioner with the Certificate amounts to contempt of court are not true and contrary to orders issued.
KRA accused Prof Ojienda of threatening the agency that non-issuance of Tax Compliance certificate amounted to contempt of court orders, yet in all those instances no orders existed ordering the agency to issue him with a Tax Compliance certificate.
” it is clear that Ojienda is someone who is ready to drag the court through the mud of his own misfortunes while making no attempt whatsoever at meeting his own tax obligation “. said KRA.
They argued orders sought by Ojienda are meant to restrain KRA from undertaking it statutory mandate as provided under the Income Tax Act and the Tax Procedure Act .
It is also KRA’s case that the orders sought are meant to intimidate and cower KRA from undertaking its duty.
The taxman said Ojienda failed to disclose all materials to the court and therefore is most undeserving of the orders sought.
The tax agency said the application is an abuse of the court process and ought to be dismissed with costs.
Senior Counsel Paul Muite for Law Society of Kenya applied for more time to file response.
Court allowed LSK application and directed the matter to be heard on Friday.
Court prohibited the arrest and prosecution of Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda over disputed tax demands.
The sanctions will remain in place until Prof Ojienda prosecutes his petition challenging demands by the Kenya Revenue Authority for tax returns from 2009 to 2016.
Justice Chacha Mwita barred the Kenya Revenue Authority and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti from interrogating Prof Ojienda regarding his law firm’s financial transactions during the seven-year period.
Prof Ojienda claimed he was a victim of threats and intimidation following his quest for re-election for the coveted post as a member of Judicial Service Commission. He has been representing the Law Society of Kenya.
” Sometimes on the 5th of September 2016 the 1st respondent served a notice requiring the payment of Kshs. 378,682,140,00 which was arrived at after illegal amendment to the petitioner register”. Said Ojienda.
He claimed the court judgement dated 11th May 2018 quashed the assessment dated 7th June 2016 and 5th September 2016.
Ojienda further claims the said illegal assessment has subjected him to trauma and unnecessary psychological torture and anxiety.
“It has affected my work, despite the important nature of my current duties to the nation”. Said ojienda.
He argued that the purported impugned investigation and subsequent assessment was calculated to embarrass him. The same is malicious, defamatory , immoral, vindictive, irresponsible and purely political in nature solely intended to intimidate him with some desired results in the performance of his duties especially as a JSC.
Prof Ojienda said that the Barclays Bank is his personal account where he receives his salaries, emoluments and other allowances from his employment.