NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Thousands of Kenyans risk losing their jobs, if the current tax feud between the Kenya Revenue Authority and Keroche Breweries persists.
Of those, the breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja says are 300 direct employees- who have been affected by the halt of operations after the taxman attached their accounts to recover Sh9 billion.
She says in 6 months, the tax collector has demanded a whooping Sh23 billion as tax, in what she has termed as unexplainable and unrealistic demands.
Their bone of contention with KRA is whether they should tax the water used to dilute their vodka at the same rate as the Vodka itself.
The drastic decision has brought operations at the brewery which prides itself as distinctly Kenyan to a halt, KRA coming under fierce criticism for institution punitive action even before a 30-day appeal window lapses.
“Let it be known that the management of this issue and its impact goes beyond the well-being of Keroche Breweries. It has a global effect on the future of Kenya’s business environment. At stake are the dreams of many local entrepreneurs and investors who Keroche Breweries has inspired to believe that it can be done,” Karanja said.
It is a tax feud that the breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja Thursday said has lasted at least 23 years, but one that it is not over yet since she is proceeding to the Court of Appeal.