BY SAM ALFAN.
A judge has declined to block the recruitment of deputy commissioners of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as sought by Busia Senator Okiyah Omtatah.
Employment and Labour Relations court Judge Byram Ongaya dismissed the Omtatah’s petition stating that the Senator failed to disclose with precision the provisions of the Constitution which have been violated by KRA at all, to support allegations in his case.
Omtatah sought to stop the recruitment of Deputy Commissioners of the KRA arguing that the involvement of the board in the process as illegal.
“The Court upholds the case as urged for the respondents. The Court finds that the petitioner has not identified any constitutional rule or provision which the amendment as was enacted violated,” ruled Judge Ongaya.
The board invited applicants in August for deputy commissioners including the ones in charge of Trade Facilitation, risk management, revenue and regional coordination and Information Communication & Technology.
The judge, who is also the principal judge of the Employment court added that it has also not been shown by the Omtatah that there was an amendment in the on-going recruitment, selection and appointment by the KRA Board, thereby offending constitutional provisions.
“It appears to the Court that the amendment fosters the principle and value of sharing of power envisaged in Article 10 of the Constitution thereby enhancing rather than derogating from the constitutional values and principles of good governance,” said the judge.
The Court said looking at the petition and the submissions, nowhere has it been shown that the amendment violated the constitutional provisions.
“All the petitioner is urging is that the regime obtaining prior to the amendment would be a preferable policy position, in his view, to the one introduced by the amendment,” added the judge.
The taxman opposed Omtatah application arguing that the recruitment of top management staff was very crucial and stopping the recruitment would be detrimental in the public interest as the same will paralyse the functions of the institution causing great public outcry.
“The great public interest in the matter outweighs the personal interest of the petitioner and it is in the great public interest that the orders sought are declined as the petitioner has not demonstrated any breach of the law by the respondents,” KRA told the court.. The taxman added that the legislative process of amending the KRA Act was passed by members of Parliament by virtue of legislative authority.
Thus, it reflects the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the stakeholders have no choice other than to comply with its provisions, the KRA said.
“Section 13(1) and (2) of the KRA act as amended by section 80 of the Finance Act, 2023 is not in violation of the constitution at all and the provisions of the KRA act and more specifically section 13(1) are in line with, inter alia, the Constitution, the State Corporations Act, Mwongozo guidelines and other corporate governance principles and the KRA approved Human resource policies of 01.07.2023,” argued the taxman.