Uhuru Issues 3-Week Deadline Over Seized Goods [VIDEO]
President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Monday, issued orders to government officials working at the Embakasi Inland Container Depot after visiting it for the second time in two days.
The President directed that all containers at the depot be released in three weeks after vetting.
He also ordered that in the future, containers should be cleared within four days.
He regretted that many innocent Kenyans had been caught up in the seizure that was aimed at nabbing scruplous importers.
Traders across the country had complained that the delay at the port had resulted in huge losses because their goods were held up.
It was established that the delay in the clearing and release of the close to 1000 containers was largely due to insufficient paperwork, including cargo, that is destined for the local market that was declared as export goods by deceitful importers in attempts to evade paying requisite taxes.
"We have had a long discussion and now everyone's work is cut out for them to be able to clear the goods so that Kenyans can continue running their businesses.
"There are people who engage in consolidation. They bring goods in containers, claiming they are transit goods while their real motive is to evade paying tax. That is not right and we will not allow it,” President Kenyatta stated.
He announced that all the consolidators of import goods will now be vetted afresh and gazetted to weed out the suspicious traders.
"These will be the only people allowed to conduct the business to ensure that we have trustworthy entrepreneurs who won't try to evade tax," President Kenyatta disclosed.
He underscored the importance of paying taxes adding that it was the government's primary source of funds.
As Kenyans have now become accustomed to, Uhuru ended his speech on a light note, asking the crowd that had gathered, to buy him lunch.
"I don't have anything else to add unless you invite me for lunch," he asked followed by his hearty laughter.
He then promised to buy the lunch during his next visit to the depot, which he hinted would be after three weeks.
Watch the president's speech below.
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