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MG Wawer? came to the public limelight in 2003 when he was appointed the Commissioner-General of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). With his clarion call, “Kulipa Ushuru ni Kujitegemea”, he presided over the impressive transformation of KRA, resulting in a surge in tax collection. He is credited with cultivating a tax-compliant mindset among Kenyans, making even ordinary citizens feel obliged to pay taxes in order to achieve a self-sustaining economy. At the end of his nine-year tenure, MG had pulled the country out of the borrowing spree to a point where 95 percent of the government expenditure was financed from revenue collection.
Yet, MG’s corporate journey was not just at KRA. He rose through the ranks of the prestigious auditing and consulting firm, Ernst and Young, eventually becoming its managing partner. He also helped found the iconic Trans-Century PLC, which grew from a Chama to a listed company on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. But MG’s journey did not start in ornate corner offices, it is a journey defined by challenges of growing up during the heady days of the fight for independence, fraught with deprivation and near desperation. That he was able to surmount these challenges and end up at the helm of KRA makes his story intensely inspiring.