State should come down hard on corrupt public officers

By: GEORGE CHEGE

President Uhuru Kenyatta is right to insist that those found stealing government revenue be held to account.

Unless they are restrained, the country is headed for very difficult times.

Many Kenyans know of Kenya Revenue Authority officers and other public servants who spend their free time supervising the construction of buildings all over the country.

The culprits should be jailed for economic sabotage.

In China, they are put to death. Unless we deal ruthlessly with tax officials who plunder the national coffers and take bribes, our economy is doomed.

Accountants and auditors would like members of their professional association, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, to be appointed to the board of the Kenya Revenue Authority to give crucial professional input in vetting KRA staff.

All properties should be mapped because that is where stolen money is hidden.

Other avenues that benefit from stolen public funds are Treasury bonds and bills and foreign accounts.

All staff must be made to publicly declare their assets and liabilities.

A secure whistleblowing programme should be instituted and a reward scheme set up to encourage people to report undeclared assets.

No KRA employee should be allowed to resign before he /she is vetted so that those who stole do not go scot-free.

Even those who have already been dismissed should be made to account for their wealth.

The government should also come down hard on tax evaders.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION