Keroche Lays off 400 Employees Amidst KRA Closure Over Fresh Tax Disputes

Keroche Breweries has laid off 400 workers after its Naivasha plant was closed down by the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA).

The company was shut down on May 15, after defaulting on an earlier agreed plan to repay tax arrears of Sh30 million.

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja, on her Twitter page on Monday morning expressed how the closure affected her saying she was thinking aloud on Sunday afternoon and pondering how she will relay the painful message to our employees on Monday that they 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 relevant ministries remain so indifferent to the dire consequences of the current closure of the company’s factory,” Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja.

She further added that the staff at Keroche will be joining millions of other jobless Kenyans as economic conditions continue to worsen and push more Kenyans to misery.

Tabitha said she now wants the Labour ministry to be concerned and interrogate the matter in order to safeguard the welfare of the employees, noting that Keroche Breweries earned monthly revenues of between Sh400 million-500 million pre-Covid-19. After the prolonged closure, the revenues dropped to below Sh 50 million.

The CEO called on the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise to defend local investments and enterprises, and take all lawful measures to support them to develop and grow.

“Does the Ministry understand how long it takes to build an enterprise even half the size of Keroche Breweries? They should not and cannot sit put and watch existing Industries being brought to their knees by the very government agencies that are meant to facilitate growth. This will surely erode investors’ confidence in our country,” Tabitha Karanja.

The CEO called for a meeting with the Commissioner-General of KRA to articulate the firm’s predicaments as they seek a moratorium.

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