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KRA Shuts Down Keroche Breweries over KSh 332 Million Tax Arrears

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has shut down Keroche Breweries.  

KRA moved to close down the company over a KSh 332 million tax row, further advising 36 banks against lending cash to the breweries company. 

The company, through its CEO Tabitha Karanja, is now seeking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention after KRA refused further negotiations. 

Speaking in Naivasha, Karanja said the company is in a position to pay the said amount in taxes but only if given a grace period, arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the business.  

She requested Uhuru to facilitate the reopening of the brewery and KRA to give them a grace period of one year to clear the tax arrears. 

“Keroche is capable of remitting over Sh21B every year in tax and a positive consideration of this appeal will be a win for both the company and KRA,” Karanja said. 

Karanja also took issue with KRA’s decision to warn financial companies from lending money to the brewery, claiming that it was a plan to lock the company out of the market. 

“We are sure that this issue can be sorted amicably as we are ready to pay the required taxes if KRA opens up our brewery… In December 2022 KRA closed the factory and further issued agency notices to 36 banks and we could not produce or access any finances to assist in settling the arrears,” Karanja said. 

The company, through its CEO Tabitha Karanja, is now seeking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention after KRA refused further negotiations PHOTO/COURTESY

Karanja also stated that the company could suffer a huge loss as it had over 2 million litres of beer worth KSh 512 million in-store. 

“This has drained all our resources and unfortunately if nothing is done in the next seven days, we will be forced to drain down all the beer and lay down over 250 direct employees,” she added. 

Reactions 

Mshefa Ujimillers: 25,000 workers on the multiply effect officially joins the jobless bench. Is there not a way they can negotiate on how to pay the taxes or at least put the company under KRA management until they pay themselves the money instead of shutting the factory down. I find it In bad taste when some of these tycoons have hidden their wealth in tax havens while companies that are benefiting Kenyans are being shut down. It’s not fair. 

Brian Murerwa: KRA will be loosing big time. Keroche can open up in any country of their choice which has better investment opportunities. Kenya has a lot of bottlenecks in investments. That’s why the likes of Dangote went to Ethiopia after our country wasn’t tenable.

Tony Tonie: The error come from the time of COVID-19. Since no work and KRA need to be paid monthly. I feel the brewery pain. The more it get being closed hasara ina increase. 

Wanja Gladys: KRA can now employ all those people who were working at Keroche. Really good progress for kenyan built industry. 

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