Why you risk 2-year jail term for just entering any KRA office

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KRA headquarters at Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi. Photo: Courtesy

It is now illegal to loiter around or enter any Kenya Revenue Authority offices across the country without permission.

This is after Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang’i officially listed the headquarters of the KRA and its offices countrywide as protected areas.

The move consequently keeps them out of bounds for persons not on official duty.

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KRA Commissioner-General James Mburu. Photo: Courtesy

Persons without permission of the Commissioner-General James Mburu will be arrested and prosecuted if found loitering around KRA premises.

In the gazette notice, persons contravening the order face a maximum Sh5,000 fine or a jail term of up to two years or both on conviction under the Protected Areas Act.

The new order comes amid several instances of unauthorised persons gaining access to KRA premises and colluding with staff in abetting tax evasion and bribery.

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Some of the suspected KRA staff attending a court session. Photo: Courtesy

The most recent case being the prosecution of over 70 KRA staff for helping to fraudulently clear cargo and alter tax returns to help people dodge tax.

“The areas, places or premises described in the schedule are declared to be protected areas for purposes of the Act and no per­son shall be in the specified areas without permission of the prescribed authority or the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government,” Dr Matiang’i says in the notice.

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Interior CS Matiang’i at a past public function. Photo: Courtesy

Apart from prohibiting people from accessing protected areas without permission, the new law also makes it illegal to make sketches, obtain records or transmit information about them through such medium as photography.

KRA has also been given authority to take precautions it deems necessary to prevent inadvertent or accidental entry into the protected area during the hours of darkness.

Other areas where the law applies include military barracks, weapons factories, government mines, camps, State House and Lodges, signal stations, military ships, foreign embassies, consulates, Central Bank of Kenya premises, among others.

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