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Keroche heads back to court over Naivasha brewery

The High Court had ordered the reopening of the brewery which was closed over tax wrangles

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja speaks during a press conference

Keroche Breweries has headed to court yet again and filed a petition against the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner Githii Mburu for disregarding a High Court order to re-open the Naivasha plant.

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On July 14, 2022 the High Court issued orders for the firm to re-open on condition that the brewer paid Sh8 million on the 30th day of each month to the KRA until the next hearing which was scheduled for September 22, 2022.

"An order be and is hereby issued that the Defendant/Respondent, taxman, its officers, agencies, associates to unseal the packaging line, the stores and to reactivate the Exercisable Goods Management System (EGMS) in the Applicant's Keroche Breweries processing plant in Naivasha and to generally allow the applicant to carry on business forthwith," the court ruling read.

"Within 7 days of the applicant to pay the respondent Sh8 million as the first installment on the tax arrears. And thereafter to pay a similar sum on the 30th day after such payment until the next hearing date," the order read.

The taxman however went to court to counter the orders although the courts did not certify any of the orders granted.

The brewer is however yet to re-open despite having court orders. Court representatives for Keroche said if the case is not heard soon, KRA will continue to disregard the orders.

The closure of the brewery has seen more than 300 employees who have been on unpaid leave since the tax man ordered the closure of the plant.

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,” Karanja said.

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