Tabitha Muigai Karanja owns Keroche Breweries. She is a businesswoman and also the founder and the Chief Executive officer of the company. Keroche brewery is the second largest brewery in Kenya located in Naivasha. The company total of about 885 employees.
What is really happening to Keroche Breweries?
Since the covid 19 pandemic hit the country, many companies have lost sales. Keroche Breweries is one of them. Keroche is unable to generate enough revenue to pay taxes. In 2021, the company was reported to court over matters of tax arrears. This was by Kenya Revenue Authority. KRA won the court case. The court asked the company to pay 100 million to the taxman. This was to stop them from attaching the company’s account. The company chose this method to solve the 9.1 billion tax arrears.
However, on the 4th of March 2022, KRA shut the company down over the tax arrears. The arrears are over 332 million Kenyan shillings. In addition, the shutdown came after the company asked the taxman for a grace period to clear the debts. In spite of that, they did not listen. The tax arrears are from February 2021. Nonetheless, the company has reached an agreement on how to settle the debts.
Hundreds of the company’s employees are yet to lose their jobs over this issue. In addition, the company’s CEO says that in the next one week, the company will be forced to pour all the beer. This is a serious crisis because it will result in to increase in unemployment. The CEO says that they have drained all their resources.
The CEOs appeal.
Tabitha Karanja is appealing to the current President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. She is asking for his intervention in the matter. She is questioning the leadership of the country. The company is asking for a more grace period of 12 months. This will help them resume paying their taxes, after all the future of the company is now in the hands of the Kenya Revenue Authority. Will they be able to clear all the debts and retain their employees? Will the president intervene?
Kenya Revenue Authority is hands-on with the company until they clear the tax arrears. Similarly, the Company’s CEO is asking for help.