KRA seeks border security unit head

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has kicked off a search for the head of its newly created border security unit that is tasked with monitoring cargo and human movement to prevent tax leaks and tackle security threats.

The taxman Wednesday called for applications for the position of a deputy commissioner in-charge of border security.

“Reporting to the Commissioner, Customs and Border Control the deputy commissioner, border security will provide leadership in national border security,” the KRA said adding that interested candidates have until November 10 to submit applications.

The KRA said the official will design and implement a national border security strategy and control structure, participate in national border security committees and aising the agency on critical border security issues.

Hundreds of Customs officials with security training were last year redeployed to border entry points in a major security shake-up that saw KRA commissioner-general John Njiraini incorporated into the National Security Aisory Committee (NSAC).

The committee chaired by Joseph Kinyua, the Head of Public Service, prepares briefs for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The border control officers (BCO) now work in collaboration with the Kenya Police Service following a presidential order that brought all security agencies under a single cohesive unit.

READ: KRA officials placed under police chief in border control plan

The officers sit on security committees in their respective station areas and share intelligence with their national office, senior security sources said.

Of late, Kenya has been facing security threats from the Somalia militant group, Al-Shabaab, which has been blamed for recent attacks on civilians and security personnel.

There has also been concern about the incessant trafficking of small arms, drugs and contraband sugar worth millions of shillings.

Since August last year, the KRA requires that all passengers transiting through the country’s borders by road must have all their personal belongings checked by its officers to enhance security and curb tax evasion.

The mandatory inspection covers items carried in passenger buses, trucks, private cars and motorcycles.

The KRA said the task is carried out within the provisions of the EAC Customs Management Act, which requires that all persons declare their belonging at the points of entry and exit to ensure conformity with the rules on safety and tax payment.

Porous borders have been blamed for rising insecurity within the region while traders have had to contend with unfair competition from goods smuggled into the market.