As a result of Githii Mburu’s decision to step down from his position as acting Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) before to the conclusion of his five-year tenure, the KRA will soon have a new acting Commissioner General. Mburu’s decision to pursue personal interests was cited in the statement released by the board of directors of the Authority, which contained the announcement.
Beginning on the 23rd of February, Advocate Rispah Simiyu has been given the responsibility of taking over in an acting capacity.
Prior to assuming the job of Commissioner General in July 2019, Mburu worked as KRA’s chief of intelligence, during which time he established a powerful information-gathering infrastructure to catch tax evaders. In July 2019, Mburu was promoted to the role of Commissioner General. His retirement comes at a time when there has been a renewed crackdown on tax cheating in the country, and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has lately announced plans to collect at least KES 60 billion in unpaid taxes.
As all is going on, Rispah Simiyu is transitioning into her new post as acting Commissioner General, and she brings with her more than 19 years of expertise as a seasoned and grounded tax professional.
Before she started working for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in April 2018 as the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes, she was the Regional Tax Manager for East Africa at Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited. In this role, she was responsible for tax matters pertaining to the greater Africa and Middle East Regions. During her time at the bank, she also served as the chairperson of the Tax Sub-Committee of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Finance and Audit Committee. In this role, she was in charge of providing training for the management and staff of KBA members on both established and developing tax issues.
Rispah received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Dar es Salaam as well as a Master of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi. Her area of concentration during her time at the University of Nairobi was international trade and investment.
She is also an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a member of the Law Society of Kenya, and a Certified Public Secretary in addition to being a trained Chartered Accountant, a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant (FCCA), and a Certified Public Secretary. Because Rispah has worked as a tax practitioner and provided consulting services in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, she is well familiar with the tax regulations that govern these nations.
The appointment of Rispah comes at a crucial moment when the Authority is stepping up its efforts to enhance tax collection. This is especially important in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has put a strain on the economy of the country.
As the Authority’s acting Commissioner General, Rispah will be responsible for both ensuring that the Authority meets its income goals and serving as the operational leader of the KRA.
After taking office the previous year, President William Ruto announced his intentions for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to more than double its collections from the previous year’s total of 2.1 trillion Kenyan shillings to over 4 trillion Kenyan shillings. Simiyu will now be in charge of this task in the short term.