Keroche Breweries has been shut down by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for breaching a tax agreement on the settlement of tax arrears. Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja announced in Naivasha on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 that the brewery was shut down by KRA in May putting over 400 people out of employment.
Keroche and KRA agreed to a payment plan in March this year, under which Keroche will pay Ksh957 million in outstanding taxes over a 24-month period beginning in January 2022.
KRA is seeking Ksh322 million from the firm, according to Ms Karanja. She begged them to grant the company more time and revise the payment plan claiming that the present one was unsustainable.
“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 CEO stated.
Ms Karanja claims that if the brewer is not reopened in time to recover the losses, beer worth at least Ksh350 million might go to waste.
“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,” she said.