The CEO Keroche Breweries Tabitha Karanja has sought President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention in the ongoing row between her company and the taxman.
Keroche and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have been locked in the row over Sh9.1 billion tax Keroche owes.
The row saw KRA shut down operations of Keroche on February 1, 2022, after it had failed to pay up according to a tax repayment plan.
Karanja took to her social media accounts to issue her statement on the state of Keroche.
She said at the time of the closure, Keroche had over 2Million litres of beer worth about Kshs 512 Million in our tanks which have fixed costs to a tune of about Kshs 30 Million required to maintain the same monthly.
According to Karanja, if the closure of the company goes on for the next one week, Keroche will be forced to drain down all the beer and lay off over 250 of its staff and more other in their nationwide distribution network.
“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,” Karanja said.
Due to the situation at the CEO’s hands, she sought the indulgence of Uhuru in the matter and have the company’s plant reopen to prevent losses, protect and safeguard the livelihoods of Kenyans that rely on the operation of the company.
To enable the company to recover from its current financial woes, be able to pay its outstanding liabilities and have a new lease, Karanja asked for the indulgence of the president for the following:
1. Assurance of a certain operating environment free from any harassment through the closure of premises over issues that can be amicably handled administratively.
2. To kindly but urgently request the re-opening of our plant to prevent huge losses as described above & enable Keroche resume prod, sales & distribution & most importantly protect & safeguard the livelihoods of thousands of Kenyans employed by the company both directly & indirectly
3. She also requested KRA to give the company 12 months grace period on the taxes in arrears. However, the company will continue paying the current taxes as they fall due.
Karanja also cited the Covid-19 pandemic as a factor that contributed to the tough financial situation and it is now being compounded by current political temperature in the country as we edge towards the general election.
“As we got into 2022, the cases of Covid 19 started going down but the post Covid 19 effects are being felt harder. The effects are being aggravated by the current political climate as we get closer to the August 2022 General Elections,” Karanja said.
Keroche Breweries has had a streak of ill-luck and has been facing a financial crisis.
It is the second-largest beer brewing company in the country after East African Breweries Limited (EABL).
It’s been a minute. Here is my statement in regards to what is happening at @keroche_ltd:— Tabitha Karanja (@TabithaKaranja) March 4, 2022
I wish to start by commending the Jubilee Government for the commendable work done during its two terms…#Thread