Bidco, KRA and senator in Sh5bn tax evasion suit

Sunday June 19 2016

Bidco Africa Chief Executive Officer Vimal Shah speaks during the Top 40 Under 40 Awards Gala night at the Windsor Golf & Country Club in Kiambu County on December 4, 2015. Activist Okiya Omtatah Okoiti has accused Mr Shah of ensuring that the company does not pay taxes over the years. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Bidco Africa Chief Executive Officer Vimal Shah speaks during the Top 40 Under 40 Awards Gala night at the Windsor Golf & Country Club in Kiambu County on December 4, 2015. Activist Okiya Omtatah Okoiti has accused Mr Shah of ensuring that the company does not pay taxes over the years. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WANJOHI GITHAE
By WANJOHI GITHAE
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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), consumer goods manufacturer Bidco Africa and a senator have been sued for colluding to deny taxpayers Sh5.7 billion in unpaid dues.

Activist Okiya Omtatah Okoiti has also accused Bidco Africa Chief Executive Officer Vimal Shah of ensuring that the company does not pay taxes over the years.

In the civil suit filed at the High Court in Nairobi, Trans Nzoia Senator Henry ole Ndiema is alleged to have broken the law when he exempted Bidco Africa from paying taxes when he served as a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance in the 1990s.

Mr Omtatah is relying on a whistle-blower’s report that alleges Bidco has survived by not paying its rightful share of taxes since then.

Mr Omtatah also relies on a High Court decision of 2012 allowing KRA to collect tax arrears and other fees amounting to Sh1.3 billion from Bidco Africa.

“The overdue tax (from the High Court decision), plus the interest and penalties remains uncollected to date in circumstances that point to collusion to evade tax, involving Bidco Africa, Mr Vimal Shah and KRA,” says Mr Omtatah in his affidavit, referring to the 2012 decision by Justice David Majanja.