The Kenya Revenue Authority has shut down operations at Keroche Breweries once again for going back on their earlier agreement on the settlement of tax arrears.
Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja Keroche announced the taxman shut the company down in May, therefore leaving over 400 workers jobless.
Earlier this year in March, Keroche and the Kenya Revenue Authority signed a deal on a payment plan that would allow Keroche to clear its tax arrears that have accrued to Sh957 million in two years.
Keroche CEO said the taxman demands a total of Sh332 million from Keroche breweries, which the company is facing difficulties in settling.
The company’s CEO who recently adopted the name Keroche asked for more time and the restructuring of the payment now claiming that it was unsustainable.
She claimed they agreed on the unsustainable payment plan albeit under unbearable pressure.
She pleaded with the KRA to give the company a moratorium on the enforcement action that closed down the brewery’s operations.
“I still plead with the KRA to afford us an opportunity to get back on our feet and regain our footing as a manufacturer, employer and local indigenous business entity in order to sustainably meet all our obligations. I specifically request once more to be given a moratorium on the enforcement action that shut down our operations, and on the unsustainable payment plan that we agreed to under unbearable pressure,” Keroche said.
Keroche noted that beer worth over Sh350 million could go to waste if the operations of the company remain suspended.
She also said that if the company does not reopen soon, several families whose livelihoods depend on the operation of the plant would suffer directly and indirectly.
“I plead with you, in the name of all the hundreds of innocent Kenyans whose livelihoods depend, directly and indirectly on this brewery, to allow us to reopen and resume full operations in order to keep them working and to enable us to meet our obligations to them and to the KRA. If we do not do this, hundreds of families will be reduced to poverty, suffering and begging in these extremely difficult economic times,” Keroche said.
Keroche and the KRA have been embroiled in a tax row for a long time.
This is the second time this year that KRA is shutting down operations of the second largest brewery in the country over a tax dispute.