Hundreds of Kenyans to Lose Jobs as Keroche Breweries Financial Crisis Deepens

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has now closed Keroche Breweries over Ksh332 million tax arrears.

Following the KRA decision, Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja said the company will send 250 workers home in the next seven days if the government will not allow it to its alcohol worth Sh512 million.

Following the move, Karanja appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene, stating KRA Commissioner General closed doors for negotiations that would save the company.

The company said it was heavily affected by the corona virus pandemic, but was willing to pay all the required taxes if granted certain grace period.

The brewery has been embroiled in a lengthy tax dispute with KRA for the past couple of years, with the latter forcing the brewery to shut down on many occasions.

In a press conference in Naivasha, Karanja blamed the present financial problem on Covid-19, which halted the company’s activities during the pandemic’s peak.

With the support of the firm’s employees, Karanja promised to continue operating, saying that at its peak, the company was remitting over Ksh200 million to the exchequer each month.

“We are sure that this issue can be sorted amicably as we are ready to pay the required taxes if KRA opens up our brewery,” Karanja stated.

She added that the said Ksh322 million tax arrears accumulated since February 2021, prompting them to enter into a pact with KRA on how to settle it out.

“From February 1, 2022 to date, we have remained closed and yet we have over two million litres of beer worth about Sh512 million in our tanks which have fixed costs to a tune of about Sh30 million required to maintain the same monthly.

“This 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,” the company said.

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