More woes for Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja after the Kenya Revenue Authority dismissed her pleas to reopen the factory.
More woes for Keroche as KRA boss responds to Tabitha Karanja's calls to reopen factory
Keroche went from making close to Sh500 million per month to below Sh50 million.
This is despite support from both Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who have asked KRA to reconsider its decision.
KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu said that Keroche had not paid any duty in beer sales since it was reopened in March.
The taxman added that Keroche owed the government a total of Sh22.79 billion which was to be paid in instalments as agreed.
In March, the brewer was granted 24 months to pay tax arrears of Sh957 million.
“We also agreed they will remain up to date on current taxes so that when they sell, they will be remitting the dues. When they paid the initial payment and we reopened their facility, we waited for them to honour the payments but that did not happen,” said Mr Mburu.
“The taxpayer did not honour the payment plan agreed upon for the third time…to allow a tax-evading business to continue operating despite it dishonouring all payment plans is to promote a culture of impunity, promote unfairness and allow a few to use public funds to enrich themselves,” KRA commissioner general said.
On Monday, Ms Karanja expressed the pain of watching more than 400 jobs being put on the line as well as the disposal of alcohol worth hundreds of millions after its closure by KRA.
“I was thinking aloud on Sunday afternoon and pondering how I will relay the painful message to our employees on Monday that we will be laying them off as a result of KRA's closure.
“I was also at pains as I looked at all the beer in the tanks that we shall be forced to drain to waste and wondered why and how the following relevant ministries remain so indifferent to the dire consequences of the current closure of the company’s factor,” the Keroche CEO said.
She revealed that the company went from making close to Sh500 million per month to below Sh50 million.
The dwindling revenues compounded the brewer's cash flow problems, resulting in defaulting of tax payments.
The businesswoman also asked for more time to pay a Sh500 million payment that was negotiated in December 2021 and due six months after. KRA has since dismissed her application.
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