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KRA cancels auction at Mombasa port after protests by importers

Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has cancelled public auction of unclaimed goods at the Port of Mombasa following protests from importers. The exercise which was to take place yesterday was put off at the eleventh hour following a directive from National Treasury.

Sources said the cancellation was ordered after Uganda government on behalf of its importers and local businessmen protested over sale of their goods. Goods were to be auctioned pursuant to section 42 of the East African Community Customs Management Act after expiry of 30-day notice for collection of all overstayed cargo.

According to a gazette notice the goods included second-hand vehicles, rice, wheat flour, containers carrying baby items, bales of used clothes, cartons of alcohols, used bicycles, Liquid Gas Cylinders, furniture, motor vehicle spare parts and sanitary towels among others.

Some of the goods listed for auction belong to the United Nations, traders from Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda , DRC and Kenyans. KRA commissioner customs and border control Julius Musyoki, however, said the public auction had not been cancelled but temporarily postponed to allow review of the auction lot.

“We have not cancelled the auction, what is there is that we have just postponed and we will announce new dates for the exercise,” he said. Musyoki said it is normal for an exercise of such magnitude to be postponed to allow review of goods on offer to be undertaken.

The cancellation of the sale on the hammer caught some buyers unaware with some having travelled as far as from Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu. Similar auction was undertaken on January 3 where the taxman netted Sh62.2 million in revenue.

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