KHRC Chairman Makau Mutua
The Non-governmental Organizations Coordination Board has accused Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) of tax evasion, operating illegal bank accounts and illegal hiring of expatriates.
NGO coordination Board Executive Director Fazul on Monday said the agency has reached a decision to de-register KHRC for operating four illicit bank accounts, two at NIC Bank and two others at the Commercial Bank of Africa.
Fazul said that by operating the illicit accounts, KHRC contravened the terms and conditions attached to the certificate of registration.
“Your organisation has failed, declined or refused to pay statutory taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) amounting to Sh100 million as provided for under schedule 10 of the Income Tax Act,” Mr Mohamed writes in his letter to the KHRC Chairman Makau Mutua.
In the letter dated 14 August 2017, the NGO board also alleged that the commission employed expatriates without valid work permits. It said KHRC went contrary to the provisions of The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 , the NGOs Coordination Act 1990, the attendant regulations of 1992 and the terms and conditions attached to your certificate of registration by hiring the foreigners with no work permits.
KHRC was formally registered in 1994 and has been championing for human rights in the country. Professor Makau Mutua, Maina Kiai, Dr Willy Mutunga, Kiraitu Murungi and Prof Peter Kareithi are the founders of KHRC.
Fazul also accused the NGO of making false declaration on its annual returns and further failed to disclose any benefits or remuneration given to its board members.
“Kenya Human Rights Commission financial statements do not give a true and fair view of their financial position as of 4th October 2016 and subsequently it cannot be ascertained that the Sh1.2 billion received by the organization during the same period is fully accounted for and whether the finances were utilised for the intended purpose in accordance with the Constitution of the Commission, Financial Reporting Guidelines and the requirements of the NGOs Coordination Act 1990,” Fazul said.
Fazul asked Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge to immediately freeze funds held under the KHRC's name and wrote to Kenya Revenue Authority to start the process of recovering all accrued taxes.
“The Director of Immigration should immediately deport all foreigners working at the Kenya Human Rights Commission without valid work permits,” Mohamed said in the letter copied to the KRA, the CBK and the Immigration Department.
KHRC Executive Director George Kegoro however, denied receiving any letter from the NGO board.
“This is one of those attacks that the board is accustomed to. It is the third time they are giving these statements to the media without our knowledge of the existence of such,” Mr Kegoro said.
“We have on several occasions actually asked the Board’s board to meet us and discuss whatever issues they may have, but they always come up with excuses,” he said.