NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has told a Nairobi court that the seizure of his vehicle in 2016 by Kenya Revenue Authority over alleged tax evasion caused him embarrassment.
Wamalwa, who was testifying in a case in which five people have denied more than 20 counts including conspiracy to evade payment of duty, said he was asked to surrender the vehicle- KCE 683H by KRA in 2016.
The Range Rover Vogue was among vehicles listed in a notice by the taxman on May 12, 2016, for tax evasion.
The CS said he purchased the vehicle from Elijah Mwenesi Hamisi and John Malogo. He said before purchasing the vehicle at a cost of Sh17 million, he did a search and later did a sale agreement before he was handed the logbook.
While being shown documents in court by the prosecutor, Wamalwa said the vehicle initially belonged to Grace Wambui Waraki although he never dealt with her. “I met the sellers who showed me the vehicle. I did a test drive and we agreed on the terms,” he told chief magistrate Martha Mutuku.
He said when he bought the vehicle, he assumed that import duty for the car had been paid but it later emerged that it was among top of the range vehicles wanted by KRA. He said he surrendered the vehicle and never went back for it. He, however, chose to pursue the sellers through a civil suit and got his money back.
“I have no claim over the vehicle, only that I was very embarrassed. I was an innocent buyer who paid the full amount to the seller before taking ownership of the car,” he said.
Zachary Oloo, who works with KRA also testified in the case in which Hamisi, Mulongo, George Onyango, Edwin Omondi Owiti, Joshua Ayalo and The Heartland Trading ltd, have denied charges of conspiracy to evade payment of duty.
The four have also denied procuring uncustomed goods. The charge sheet stated that between July 16, 2015 and August 12, 2015, the procured the Range Rover and failed to pay duty amounting to Sh6.5 million.
Onyango is also accused of making false entry to the KRA Simba system by inputting that the motor vehicle had been sold through an auction. He faces more than 15 other counts.
The trial was adjourned to August 27.