400 Keroche employees to be laid off as tax dispute with KRA deepens.

 400 Keroche employees to be laid off as tax dispute with KRA deepens.

Image -George Murage

Keroche Breweries Limited is on the verge of laying off 400 employees one month after it was shut down by the Kenya Revenue Authority over undisputed Tax arrears amounting to Ksh 957 million.

In a series of tweets, Keroche managing director Tabitha Karanja said the decision is due to the “illegal, punitive and draconian actions by the KRA”.

According to Ms Karanja, “KRA have exerted their authority with cavalier approach on collection of taxes recklessly disregarding the effects of their actions, thereby killing the goose that lays the golden egg”

In March this year, Keroche and KRA had agreed on a 24 Month Payment Plan on solving the Tax Dispute which Tabitha says that Keroche had “requested for a moratorium of 6 months before commencing payments because of post-Covid effects that were aggravated by several closures of the factory between Dec2021 to date and Agency Notices issued to Banks”

The managing director further blamed Keroche’s woes on the Ministry of Labour, Industrialization and Treasury for what she termed as “remaining so indifferent to the dire consequences of the current closure of the company’s factory”

On the ministry of Labour, Tabitha said that it ought to be concerned and interrogate the matter as it is constitutionally mandated to safeguard the welfare of labour and legally obligated to protect all Kenyan workers. This was in regards to laying off 400 workers.

On the Ministry of Industrialisation, she noted that they should at all times defend local investments and enterprises, and take all lawful measures to support them to develop and grow while on Treasury, Ms Karanja who is also the Nakuru senatorial aspirant said she will question them on whether “ they have ever taken time to understand the standoff between KRA and the company.

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