•The tax dispute with KRA started back in 2008
•Keroche is ranked second after EABL in beer production in the country
Employees of Naivasha based Keroche Breweries now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help save their jobs.
The more than 400 workers took to the streets on Wednesday to bring to public their plight arising from a tax dispute between their employer and the Kenya revenue Authority.
They said they have not been paid for four months and now risk being sent home unless the dispute is resolved.
Last week, KRA once again closed down Keroche after it failed to honour a Sh300 million-tax arrears repayment plan agreed on after an earlier closure.
The authority went ahead to issue agency notices to several banks against lending or giving any overdrafts to the brewer completely paralysing its operations.
The workers who peacefully marched to the Naivasha Labour office said their only hope now lies with the President.
Their welfare chairman John Odhiambo said that the issue was no longer a Keroche-KRA matter as more 400 people and their families who depend on the company face the sack.
“We are kindly pleading with the President and the Ministry of Labour to intervene as tens of families are undergoing untold suffering,” he said
He said that since Covid-19 pandemic, the company had been closed on many occasions adversely affecting their production and revenue generation.
“We can no longer feed our families following the row which doesn’t involve us and this has psychologically affected many workers,” he said.
Another worker Rally Tago said that they had worked at the company for years and termed the current situation as the worst ever.
“We are drawn from different parts of the country and all that we are asking for is the reopening of the brewery as the pending issue is resolved amicably,” she said.
David Atete said that their children had been sent away from school while some families were sleeping hungry.
“Though the company owes us four months salaries we know this can be paid if the brewery is allowed to resume operations,” he said.