Keroche to pour alcohol worth Sh512 million, and lay off 250 workers

Tabitha Karanja has appealed to President Uhuru kenyatta to intervene.

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help save the company that risks permanent closure due to a tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

In a press conference issued on Friday, March 4, Tabitha said that the firm is on the verge of sending home over 250 workers and pouring alcohol worth over Sh512 million that is currently stored in tanks.

She explained that in December 2021, KRA shut down operations at the company after defaulting on Sh332 million tax arrears.

The firm has been in a Sh9 billion tax dispute with KRA and negotiated a payment plan that has now been in default.

Karanja said that an alert sent to 36 banks by KRA made it harder for the company to access funds to service its dues.

The recent closure by KRA 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,” Ms Karanja said.

She went on to say that they had almost two million litres of alcohol required Sh30 million monthly to store.

The aspiring Nakuru Senator wants President Kenyatta help negotiate a new deal with KRA and keep the company afloat.

"At this point, they refused to accept further negotiations and the office of the Commissioner-Domestic Taxes Department, advised us that their hands were tied and we should seek support from the office of the Commissioner-General," Ms Karanja said.

The CEO also wants KRA to give Keroche a tax grace period of one year. She expressed hope that if given the space to revive operations, the firm had the potential to remit up to Sh21 billion a year in taxes.

At its peak, the organization was remitting more than Sh200 million to the exchequer every month.

The laws should mandate the CS Treasury to give waivers or moratoriums to investors during such difficult times brought about by a global pandemic,” she argued.

Tabitha said that the firm was greatly affected by restrictions introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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