Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tabitha Karanja is now accusing the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of being insensitive to the plight of local manufacturers, after closing them down over Sh322 million tax arrears.
Karanja on Friday said it’s unfortunate that they have continued to be victimized despite their contribution to the economy, with a contribution of Sh30 billion to the exchequer since the plant became operational.
She narrated a series of events leading to the recent closure of the company and how they have been unable to operate consistently, due to constant raids by KRA with attempts at renegotiating a payment plan being rejected.
Karanja lamented that if nothing is done within seven days, they will be forced to drain all the beer and lay down about 250 direct employees, and thousands who indirectly benefit from the distribution chain.
“Over 250 permanent and pensionable jobs are at risk. Those who can unlock this issue are not available. The ripple effect of these jobs being terminated, does anyone care? Where is our leadership?” she posed.
According to Karanja, they have 2 million litres of beer worth Sh512 million which will go to waste if there is no intervention.
She said that the recent closure will also lead to erosion of the investors’ confidence both Local and Foreign, as well as killing of local industries leaving the Multinationals to monopolize the country’s economy.
Karanja appealed to the President to intervene and have KRA re-open their plant so as to avert the job cuts and losses, also seeking to be given a 12 months grace period on the taxes on arrears.
She said if allowed to operate, the company will continue paying the current taxes as they fall due.
“This indulgence will enable the company to recover from its current financial woes, be able to settle all its outstanding liabilities and to have a new lease of life,” she said.