Keroche Breweries will reopen on Friday, July 29, according to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The Brewer’s Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja had moved to court seeking the arrest of KRA Director General James Mburu over contempt of court for failing to facilitate the reopening of Keroche following a court order on 14th July 2022.
“Based on the directions of Honorable Justice Abigail Mshila, the Keroche factory will be opened tomorrow, July 29, 2022, at 11:00 am,” a KRA statement issued Thursday reads.
Keroche is currently embroiled in a tax dispute with the taxman over Ksh 957 million in uncollected taxes, which the two parties agreed to pay in instalments over 24 months.
KRA shut Keroche on May 15, 2022, after the brewer defaulted on paying a Ksh 8M monthly repayment plan as initially agreed.
“As Keroche Breweries, we solemnly undertake to pay our taxes as and when they fall due. In good time, we shall settle all the underlying tax disputes,” Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja said in a Tweet Thursday.
As Keroche Breweries, we solemnly undertake to pay our taxes as and when they fall due. In good time, we shall indeed settle all the underlying tax disputes. To our customers, stakeholders and well-wishers, we appreciate your concern and your continued great support.
— Tabitha Karanja (@TabithaKaranja) July 28, 2022
In May, the Naivasha-based firm laid off over 400 workers after KRA shut down the plant. Karanja said that the move by the taxman could affect thousands of other indirect jobs.
“…it should be of their concern that about 400 direct and thousands of other indirect jobs are on the brink of being lost.
“They will be joining millions of other jobless Kenyans. Economic conditions continue to worsen as the cost of living, poverty, and inequality punish more and more Kenyans to harrowing misery,” said Karanja.
In June, Karanja said the company can only pay the taxes accrued if it is operational.
“We reiterate our commitment to pay all the taxes due and owing to KRA, and we respectfully urge them to allow us to do the business that would unfailingly generate the money to pay off the owed taxes, the current taxes and the future taxes.”