KRA freezes Africa Union’s firm accounts over arrears

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has frozen bank accounts owned by Africa Union’s reinsurance firm over a Sh12.8 billion tax bill, setting the stage for a battle between Nairobi and the continental body.

African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) has protested the taxman’s move, terming it a violation of immunity granted to it in 1987 by founder members.

But KRA has already instructed Africa Re’s bankers and other institutions holding the continental firm’s funds to freeze the accounts and hand over the monies to the taxman.

The firm is majority-owned by AU’s member states. Its other shareholders include the African Development Bank, four non-African investors and over 100 large insurance companies from across the continent.

The freeze has threatened to cause a diplomatic tiff between Kenya and other member states.

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