In what’s warming up to be a typical case of the hunter being the hunted, a senior KRA manager and his love-full wedded wife, were on Tuesday June 30, charged at the Anti-Corruption Court with evading taxes amounting to Sh. 38.6 million.
Mr. Joseph Chege Gikonyo and his wife Lucy Kangai Stephen who co-own their family enterprise Gichie limited, were accused of failing to remit Sh. 38,692,694 owed to the state. The amount is reported to have accrued from the Gichie limited taxable income and penalties.
It’s reported that detectives from EACC have been trailing Mr. Gikonyo from 2016, saying his wealth was acquired suspiciously. It’s alleged that the couple’s accounts together with a number of assets were frozen by the Court in 2016 awaiting satisfactory explanation on how their joint properties were acquired.
In addition to tax evasion, the couple was interdicted over graft cases closely attached to their company Gichie limited. The couple’s defence team asked the Court to draw a line between tax evasion and graft, and treat the cases independently.
According to Mr. Esmail, the couple’s lead defence, issues of tax evasion are clearly outlined in the Kenya Constitution 2010. He told the Court that Section 80 of the Tax Procedures Act, 2015, prohibits prosecution when assessment of tax has been issued and penalties levied against a taxpayer.
The couple applied to be released on reasonable bond, pending conclusive hearing.