Saturday, June 22, 2024

Wesonga: Little-known owner of Hotel Itoya, one of Busia biggest hotels

Hotel Itoya, owned by Charles Wesonga, stands as a magnificent three-star hotel strategically situated at the border of Kenya and Uganda in the heart of Busia Town, Busia County.

Offering panoramic views of Busia and its environs, Hotel Itoya has become a popular destination for both holidaymakers and the business class.

Co-Op post

With its range of amenities and excellent service, it has a delightful stay for guests.

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However, Charles Wesonga’s business ventures have not been without controversy, as he found himself entangled in a tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in 2021.

In this article, we look into the details of the hotel and the tax dispute faced by its owner, Charles Wesonga.

Hotel Itoya: A Haven for Guests

Hotel Itoya boasts 60 well-appointed rooms, each featuring single, twin, or king-size beds to accommodate different preferences.

According to their website, guests can expect a comfortable stay with en-suite bathrooms, spacious work desks, and ample wardrobe space.

The inclusion of amenities such as TVs and Wi-Fi Internet access ensures that guests can stay connected and entertained during their visit.

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The hotel’s restaurant caters to every palate with a diverse menu of delicious dishes, and a delightful breakfast awaits guests each morning before they embark on their explorations of the bustling city.

Conference Facilities for Business and Events

For conferences and events, Hotel Itoya offers a spacious conference room capable of accommodating up to 250 delegates. Equipped with wireless internet connectivity and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, the venue ensures a seamless experience for organizers and participants alike.

The hotel has garnered recognition from the government, securing tenders to host significant functions such as the Madaraka Day celebration in Embu and the flagging of the Kipkeino Classic, a prestigious event graced by President William Ruto and hosted in Kasarani.

The Tax Controversy

In 2021, Charles Wesonga found himself at the center of a tax controversy when the Kenya Revenue Authority ruled against him.

The KRA raised a tax bill of Sh22 million against Wesonga for unexplained account deposits and unverified deals with the county government.

The controversy primarily stemmed from Wesonga having Sh5.2 million in a dormant account and receiving Sh57 million from Dan Omondi of Danlec Electrical Services, a supplier to the county government.

During the proceedings, Wesonga attempted to claim tax amnesty, but the tribunal rejected his plea since it had already expired.

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Moreover, he failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his claims. The tribunal questioned the lack of documentation to prove the loan agreement between Wesonga and Omondi, as well as the absence of evidence that the county government’s contract with Omondi had been serviced.

The tribunal also noted discrepancies in the flow of funds, with loan repayments being deposited into Wesonga’s personal account instead of the affiliated business’s account.

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