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Why payments at City Hall could revert to manual as KRA takes over

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced new bank accounts to be used for revenue collection in Nairobi, in a move that is likely to revert payment of services to the manual system.

The taxman, who on Monday, took over the revenue collection in Nairobi as the principal agent for overall collection for all county revenue, said business owners, motorists and residents, in general, will now be required to pay revenue to the county through the bank.

The public notice said the services will be paid through Cooperative Bank Account number 01141709410000 (City Hall) and National Bank Account number 01071225251100 (Times Tower) under the Nairobi County Revenue Collection account name. It remains unclear whether KRA will back up the bank accounts with an e-payment infrastructure like is the case currently.

Nairobi residents have been using unstructured supplementary service data with a short code (USSD) *235#, launched last year June, to pay for services digitally.

They had not been issued with a bank account -like in KRA’s case- to make payments.

“Pursuant to gazette notice No.1609 of 25.2.2020 of 2020 and gazette notice 1967 of 6th March, 2020, appointing Kenya revenue authority (KRA) as the principal agent for overall collection for all county revenue, the public is hereby informed that KRA will commence collection of the Nairobi City County Revenue with effect from March 16, 2020. Nairobi County revenue will now be paid through the following accounts,” read in part the notice in one of the local dailies yesterday.

The takeover by KRA follows the signing of a Deed of Transfer agreement between the county and National Government last month, which took effect on Tuesday, March 16, 2020.

Appointing the Authority

The Authority was earlier this month gazetted to take over revenue collection at the county in line with the Gazzette Notice of February 25, 2020, appointing the Authority as the principal revenue collector for Nairobi County Government for the next two years.

In line with the Gazzette Notice, KRA officers with have full and unlimited access to Nairobi City government revenue processes, information data and systems, which also includes and not limited to records and documents necessary for the effective execution of its mandate.

“Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has today commenced revenue collection for Nairobi City County Government. This is in line with the Gazzette Notice No. 1609 of 25th February 2020 under Article 5.5 appointing KRA as the Principal Revenue Collector for Nairobi County Government,” said a statement by the Taxman on Monday.

KRA is now set to oversee all streams of revenue and administer the taxes through the normal process of assessment, payment, accounting, remission and enforcement through both compliance and debt recovery.

National Bank has been collecting parking revenue on behalf of City Hall after Jambopay’s contract ended in June 2019.

On Tuesday, KRA sent a warning to any staff from City Hall found collecting revenue on behalf of the county starting Monday next week that they risk prosecution.

The Authority said that they will henceforth be in charge of revenue collection in Nairobi as well as deployment of revenue staff asking the revenue staff to report to Times Tower yesterday for redeployment.

“Any other person purporting to collect revenue on behalf of Nairobi County government with effect from Monday, March 23, 2020, shall be impersonating a public officer and shall be liable for prosecution in accordance with the law,” said the Notice by Commissioner General James Mburu and Devolution Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli.