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NA to probe employment of revenue officers by KRA

The National Assembly Cohesion and Equal Opportunities Committee will conduct an inquiry into employment of 1,406 Revenue Service Assistants by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The Committee chaired by Hon. Yussuf Haji reached this resolution following reports that 133 recruits were dropped after they were subjected to HIV and pregnancy tests among other insubstantial reasons.

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This, the Committee says, is in contravention of the law.

KRA Commissioner General Humphrey Wattanga, who appeared before the Committee, noted that the 133 recruits were not hired on account of HIV and pregnancy.

Wattanga further told the Committee that they faced a lot of political interference in the running of the Authority’s programmes.

“The recruitment for the Revenue Service Assistants was conducted by the Kenya Defense Forces on our behalf,” he added.

“The content in your report on why KRA violated the constitution in recruitment of officers is serious and requires an inquiry to get the root cause and reach a decision,” said Hon. Haji

Members expressed their anger on the decision by KRA to subject applicants to HIV and pregnancy tests noting that it was a clear violation of the law and the Authority’s Human Resource guidelines.

Nyeri Town MP, Hon. Duncan Mathenge read to the Commissioner General several articles in the constitution on human rights that they violated in the recruitment process, noting that action should be taken.

On the other hand, Ndhiwa MP, Hon. Peters Owino and his Kaspul counterpart Hon. Were Ong’ondo who supported inquiry call, said it was a grave mistake for KRA to dismiss the 133 recruits on medical accounts.

“You violated the rights of the recruits by subjecting them to tests. Your legal team should have advised you that you were breaking the law,” said Hon Were.

“Other State institutions have recruited staff without forcing them to undergo HIV and pregnancy tests. What drove KRA into doing so!” posed Nominated MP Hon. Irene Mayaka.

The Committee questioned the role of KDF in the recruitment exercise, noting that their involvement was an illegality.

The chairperson said the inquiry will unearth many things in the recruitment exercise.

In his response, Wattanga said he would not comment on the matter because it was still in court.

He however noted that they used KDF because of the nature of the work the officers were going to do.

“The recruits were hired as enforcement officers hence the need to use KDF to identify those fit for the job,” he explained.

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