KRA appoints two Commissioners to enhance leadership capacity

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) board has appointed Ms. Lilian Anyango Nyawanda as Commissioner of Customs and Border Control and Dr Edward Kinyua Karanja as Commissioner of Investigation and Enforcement.

This, the authority’s commissioner general said in a media communiqué, is part of an ongoing leadership capacity enhancement programme, adding that the two roles are key pillars in delivering KRA’s vision to be a globally trusted revenue agency facilitating tax and customs compliance.

“We are pleased to welcome aboard Commissioners Ms. Lilian Anyango Nyawanda and Dr. Edward Kinyua Karanja in their new roles, which are crucial leadership appointments. The two leaders will play a key role in spearheading and sustaining revenue mobilization and institutional transformation agenda,” Mr Mburu said.

Prior to her appointment as Commissioner Customs and Border Control, Ms Nyawanda served as the Customs and Excise Manager of Africa Region at the Diageo Centre of Excellence overseeing the customs governance, risk management and international trade operations.

She started off her career in tax at KRA in 2003 as a Revenue Officer (I) after undergoing the Graduate Trainee Program and rose to an acting senior revenue officer in charge of gateway clearance sheds and cargo handling at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In September 2009, she moved to Deloitte East Africa Limited as a senior consultant for customs & international trade. In this role, she handled customs and international trade for clients; interfaced with KRA in resolving clients’ queries and audits. She was seconded to the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) supply chain department where she streamlined and managed the import and export process by collaborating with the relevant stakeholders to ensure prompt clearance of goods and compliance with customs law.

In May 2012, Ms Nyawanda was appointed as the customs & bonds manager at the EABL in charge of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan. She managed tax risks of imports and exports of raw materials and finished goods ensuring proper management of EABL clearance processes.

In January 2014, she was appointed as the customs and tax manager at EABL with the role of strategic advisor on customs and cross-border transaction matters. In 2019, she moved to Diageo Centre of Excellence to oversee the customs governance, risk management and international trade operations across Africa.

Ms. Nyawanda has also lectured on a part time basis at the Strathmore School of Law, focusing on tax law and customs matters.

Ms. Nyawanda holds a Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management) degree from United States International University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree from University of Nairobi. She has a Certificate in Customs and Tax Administration from the Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA). She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi Honor – September, 2020).

On his part, Dr Edward Kinyua Karanja is currently the Acting Commissioner of Investigation and Enforcement in addition to his substantive role as the Deputy Commissioner – Investigation and Enforcement, a position he has held since 2019.

Dr Karanja has a wealth of experience in tax investigations and has significantly contributed towards reforms geared towards countering tax evasion and building confidence in tax systems. He has instituted investigations that have led to recovery of taxes.

He joined KRA in 1992 as Assessor II (Special Unit Income Tax) and served until 1997, when he became principal revenue officer – head of audit large taxpayers office (LTO).

From the year 2000 to 2002, Dr. Karanja served as Assistant Commissioner/Audit Manager – Head Office. In 2005, Dr. Karanja was appointed Assistant Commissioner – Policy Unit Technical.

From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Karanja was the Manager in charge of the Tax Policy Unit within the Large Taxpayers Office (LTO) until he was promoted to Senior Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Manufacturing Sector in LTO.

From 2013 to 2014, Dr. Karanja served as the manager in charge of investigations and enforcement, domestic taxes department. In 2015, he was moved to the investigations and enforcement department as a chief manager.

He was appointed deputy commissioner, investigations and enforcement department, in 2019 and is currently the acting commissioner for the department.

Dr. Karanja holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Washington International University (WIU); a Master of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management) from United States International University; Master of Arts in Public Finance from Grips University, Tokyo, Japan and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Mathematics from Egerton University. He is a Member of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) and a member of Kenya Institute of Management.

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