Kenyans have come out guns blazing to condemn the government move in frustrating Keroche breweries limited.
The government, through the Kenya Revenue Authority is after Keroche over a Kshs 322 million tax arrears.
The Taxman went ahead and warned 36 banks against lending the Naivasha-based brewer money to clear their bills.
Aside from that KRA has denied the brewer a grace period to settle their bill even after facing losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We started negotiating for a payment plan and we requested 24 monthly installments based on our financial projections which KRA rejected and insisted on six monthly installments,” Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja said in a statement.
The row with KRA has seen Keroche get closed from time to time, thus completely paralyzing any efforts to clear the tax bill.
The company has not operated this month and if they are closed for the next 7 days, Kshs 512 million will be lost.
“From 1st February 2022 to date, we have remained closed and yet we have over 2Million litres of beer worth about Kshs 512 Million in our tanks which have fixed costs to a tune of about Kshs 30 Million required to maintain the same monthly. IS THIS FAIR?” Karanja lamented.
If Keroche is shut down completely, 250 people who are employed directly in the manufacturer will be rendered jobless as well as thousands others who are involved indirectly in the distribution network.
The loss of jobs has irked Kenyans as some wonder why KRA would waive taxes for other companies but not Keroche. Others claim that the matter is politically instigated.
“This country is tiring. I have really come to hate because of things like this. Uhuru went on a borrowing spree and KRA is not killing legit businesses in the name of collections. Can’t see beyond their nose. What then after you close Keroche? Where will you get taxes?” Master Wong said.
“KRA shouldn’t even think of shutting down Keroche. We should keep politics out of this! The company has employees mostly the youth that will end up jobless. Keep politics out of this!!” Emmanuel Mabwoga wrote.
Others have however advised Tabitha to change her political stand and all will be well with her business.
“Plz Tafuta baba to talk to president about your company n you will have peace….unfortunately you chose yellow,” a twitter user suggested.
Tabitha will be vying for the Nakuru Senatorial seat under a UDA ticket in the coming general elections.