MPs Order Scrutiny on Companies Within Special Economic Zones Over Tax Evasion Claims

The National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Finance on Tuesday raised alarm about companies registered under the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) over tax evasion claims.

During the committee’s scrutiny of the companies registered under SEZ, the legislators noticed discrepancies in taxes paid by the entities.

A further probe by the Members of Parliament revealed that only three of the gazetted SEZs were public with the rest being privately owned.

“From the foregoing state of affairs, there could be pointers to a likelihood of a compromised integrity of the Special Economic Zones”, Mbeere North MP Ruku stated.

Mbeere North MP Geoffrey Kariuki Ruku at Parliamentary chambers.


Geoffrey Ruku

Following the concerns, the MPs directed an immediate probe into the operations of the companies including the acquisition of certain assets like land.

The MPs also called for a probe on land dealers whom the lawmakers claimed might have issued lands to the companies against the law.

“This could particularly be exploited by unscrupulous land dealers purportedly selling the land within SEZs without paying taxes,” MP Ruku revealed.

“This is to woo unsuspecting Kenyans and investors into economic exploitation without any economic benefits”, he added.

According to MP Kimani Kuria, the committee had also received complaints that some agencies under the Special Zones were undertaking activities that they were not registered for.

“Complaints have been raised that some entities registered under SEZ are exploiting the privilege to engage in other activities like property and land transactions, thus denying the country, the much-needed revenue,” MP Kimani noted.

Following the deliberations, the MPs also called for tighter regulations by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to control the activities of the companies registered under SEZs.

The committee and the revenue authority also agreed on fresh measures that would tame tax evasion that the MPs noted had immensely affected the country’s activities.

Molo MP, Francis Kuria Kimani presents proposed changes to a Parliamentary committee on April 26, 2024


Francis Kuria Kimani

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