The confirmation of Humphrey Mulongo Wattanga’s appointment as KRA Commissioner General by Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, the CS National treasury and planning has elicited a National excitement especially in Western where Wattanga was born while coming to terms with the huge responsibility Wattanga has been entrusted with. He emerged the best candidate out of 89 applicants after intense recruitment process by KRA board of Directors and therefore becomes the 7th Commissioner General who take over leadership at a time when strategic and reform oriented leadership is key to steer KRA to the next level.
As a Commissioner-General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) he is the Chief Executive of KRA and, subject to the general supervision and control of the Board, he will be responsible:
(a) for the day to day operations of the Authority;
(b) for the management of funds, property and affairs of the Authority; and
(c) for the administration, organization and control of the staff of the Authority.
Who is Humphrey Mulongo Wattanga?
I am a seasoned corporate and public finance professional with a strong interest in the systematic analysis of transformative market opportunities and the evaluation of their potential. I am driven by the practical application of innovative technology and financial structuring to enhance market linkages, unlock resource potential, and optimize the mobilization of capital for investment and development.
My education in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard University, where I gained thorough training in scientific research and analysis, and my subsequent studies for the Master of Business Administration at the Wharton School, where I majored in Information Systems Strategy and Economics, provided a firm foundation upon which to anchor my drive and motivation.
After gaining years of invaluable experience in the United States, initially with a pioneering web-based ERP technology firm (Agillion Inc.) and later with the world’s largest telecommunications company (AT&T), I moved to South Africa in 2004 and established a successful financial advisory firm that provided cross-border corporate finance and transaction advisory services to public and private sector clients on the continent.
Ten years ago, I returned home and introduced a robust system for automating bond trading to the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Subsequently, we built a mobile gateway onto the platform, linking the bond trading system to Kenya’s pervasive mobile money market. This expanded investment participation in the capital markets to include the previously excluded Mama Mboga. The National Treasury used the platform to issue the world’s first mobile-only government bond, M-Akiba. The Kenya Kwanza administration is planning on reviving issuance of the M-Akiba bond, for purposes of investing savings deducted from the Hustler Fund.
Over the past six years, I have had the privilege of serving full-time as a Commissioner on the Commission on Revenue Allocation. I was also elected by my colleagues to the position of Vice Chair, which made me a member of every committee on the Commission. In this role, I was responsible for ensuring effective coordination and creating constructive synergy among the various committees of the Commission, as well as among the Commissioners. I also had the role and responsibility of fostering a seamless linkage between the committees and the Secretariat, in order to ensure operational efficiency in the execution of the Commission’s decisions.
I was further entrusted with leading the Commission’s agenda of undertaking a comprehensive review and analysis of counties’ Own Source Revenue (OSR) potential, the gap thereof, and the development of requisite mitigation measures. We determined that, at Kshs 38b per annum, counties were grossly under-performing their revenue potential, which is estimated at over Kshs 260 billion. A major intervention arising from this review was the expressed intent and detailed planning towards rolling out a single Integrated County Revenue Management System (ICRMS), a proposition and plan that was approved and endorsed by the Council of Governors.
Upon the completion of my term at CRA, I assumed the position of Managing Director of Meghraj Capital Limited, the investment banking advisory arm of the Meghraj Group, an international firm founded in Kenya in 1922 by Meghji Pethraj Shah (MP Shah). The firm has a long-standing presence in India and Japan, and it has been an honor to work on mobilizing capital and technology from these major markets for investment in Kenya and East Africa’s private sector.Mobilizing capital for development is a noble challenge that I fervently seek to pursue with a passion.
~ Humphrey Mulongo Wattanga ~
Wattanga comes from Bamusomi clan in Namwela – Sirisia Constituency but currently resides in Cherengany – TransNzoia County