Hundreds of Kenyans risk losing their jobs at the popular Keroche Breweries after the Kenya Revenue Authority decided to close down the company over 332million tax arrears.

In a statement dated 3rd March, the Naivasha-based firm warned that it would lay off 250 workers in the next week if it’s not allowed to sell it’s alcohol.

The firm said that it has two million liters of beer worth 512million Kenyan shillings stored in its tanks.

From February 1, 2022 to date, we have remained closed and yet we have over two million litres of beer worth about Sh512 million in our tanks which have fixed costs to a tune of about Sh30 million required to maintain the same monthly,” said Keroche in their statement.

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 and thousands within our nationwide distribution network.”

Keroche plant operator

The shut down comes months after the company asked KRA for a grace period to offset the tax. According to them, they would be comfortable clearing the arrears in 24 months. But KRA insisted that the debt be cleared in six months from Feb 2021.

However in December 2021, 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,” Tabitha Karanja said in a press conference.

President please

The company’s CEO Tabitha Karanja has petitioned the president to intervene. Because their efforts to get in touch with the KRA commissioner-general were futile.

Efforts to renegotiate a deal with the KRA Commissioner-Domestic Taxes Department and get revenue stamps had been unsuccessful.”

Keroche is capable of remitting over Sh21 billion every year in taxes and a positive consideration of this appeal will be a win for both the company and KRA.”

Tabitha has expressed interest in the Nakuru County senatorial seat.

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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