Saturday, July 2, 2022

Keroche owes us Sh. 22.79 billion, says KRA

The Kenya Revenue Authority has said that troubled brewer Keroche Breweries owes it Sh. Sh. 22.79 billion. This figure, says KRA, is the total of unpaid corporate tax, excise duty, VAT and penalties.

The taxman has also said that apart from the mega amount Keroche owes, the brewer has failed to honour any repayment plans including one in which the brewer was required to be paying Sh. 500 million per month to offset Sh. 4.49 billion debt.

KRA has also penalized Keroche Sh. 3.02 billion. At Sh. 22.79 billion, the taxman is demanding what is a near equivalent of the Sh. 24.9 billion that Safaricom, East Africa’s most profitable company, paid the KRA.

The Sh. 4.49 billion that Keroche was required to pay out of monthly installments was part of a Sh. 7.54 billion tax demand, which included penalties of Sh. 3 billion.

In March 2022, Keroche had appealed to the Treasury to write off Sh. 3.99 billion on agreement it would pay the Sh. 4.49 billion.

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Keroche was shut down by KRA last week in a move that saw hundreds of employees lose their jobs at the Naivasha-based factory.

The shutdown of Keroche has given East African Breweries Limited (EABL) a through pass in the local market. The shutdown was the second within a span of three months.

It came barely a year after Keroche started a drive to popularize its prime beers Summit Lager and Summit Malt beers which were seen as direct competition on brands such as Tusker which are offered by its competitor, EABL.

Keroche chief executive officer Tabitha Karanja appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help salvage the sinking company. The president is however yet to respond.

Ms. Karanja has also asked for renegotiation, arguing that she was pressured into signing the current repayment plan which she is now unable to meet.

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