Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Humphrey Wattanga: Meet Harvard-trained KRA boss who topped KCSE 1990 exams

On August 22nd, Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Professor Njuguna Ndung’u appointed Humphrey Wattanga Mulongo as the new Commissioner General for the KRA.

Wattanga filled in the boots of ex-Commissioner General James Gethii Mburu who resigned from his job six months ago. He has more than two decades of expertise in corporate governance and business development.

Wattanga has had his career span mostly in the private, as he walks in through stranger doors of public service.

What might not be widely known is that the Wattanga is an alumnus of the esteemed Alliance High School.

In the KCSE 1990 exams, Humphrey Wattanga emerged as the best student in the country. He scored straight A’s in all his subjects.

This was how he set the foundation of his path to C-level. Wattanga received the Dr Ouko Award for Academic Excellence and also secured an internship with the accounts department at East Africa Industries (UNILEVER) in 1991.

He enrolled at the University of Nairobi. At the height of university strikes and anti-government protests in 1992 in the quest for multi-party democracy, Wattanga left the school.

During that same year, he enrolled at Harvard University to pursue a degree in Biochemistry, successfully graduating in 1996.

In 1998, he joined the Wharton School for an MBA in Information Systems Strategy & Economics and Healthcare Management.

He got his first job stint as a Marketing Manager at Agillion in 2002. He then transitioned to AT&T/SBC Communication where he assumed the role of Business Development Manager.

Subsequently, he became a senior partner at AFCORP Investments, a specialized Pan-African private investment banking, business development and transaction advisory firm. The company operates in South Africa and Kenya.

KRA goes for new, used personal, household items from people arriving at JKIA

After AFCORP, Mulongo had a career stint at the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA). This was his first time in the public service sector.

He rose through the ranks, from commissioner to vice chair between 2017 and 2022.

In his tenure, he led a team in comprehensively reviewing counties’ Own Source Revenue (OSR) potential.

The report indicated that counties underperformed by Sh. 38 billion annually, despite having the potential to exceed Sh. 260 billion.

Before his appointment to Times Tower as department boss, Wattanga served as the Managing Director of Meghraj Capital.

His significant milestone at Meghraj Capital was an automated bond trading system custom-built for the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

This system played a pivotal role in issuing M-Akiba, the world’s first mobile-only government bond.

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