• Karanja called on the Revenue Authority to at least respect the rule of law and have the company operational.
• "This is about vested interests by our competitors in the industry thru the aid of powerful individuals weaponising govt institutions."
Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja now says that the Kenya Revenue Authority has refused to open the brewery, despite the High Court directing so.
In a statement on Thursday, Karanja called on the Authority to at least respect the rule of law and have the company operational.
"We therefore now urge the KRA, that if not for the business of Keroche Breweries and if not for the thousands of employees, and even if it is not for the business continuity and economic value that we bring to our nation then but for the rule of law, in compliance and in accordance with the court order," she said.
On July 18, KRA moved to court seeking to reverse the order compelling the taxman to reopen the brewery.
The tax body now argued that the High Court order contravened the initial order where Keroche had been given a repayment schedule to settle its tax arrears until the next hearing date on September 22.
“It is the Authority’s view that the case filed in court by Keroche and the orders sought go contrary to previous orders issued by the same court and the consent agreements arrived at and signed by the two parties,” KRA, Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Coordination, Paul Matuku said in a statement on Tuesday.
On July 15, the High Court had ordered KRA to open the Naivasha-based plant pending the hearing and determination of tax dispute of up to Sh957 million.
Tabitha Karanja insisted that the company will pay the taxes owed but that can only happen if they are 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."
She also questioned the motive behind the fight with KRA, adding that it could be a creation of their competitors who want them out of the market.
"We must therefore express our legitimate and real apprehension that there are other extraneous factors motivating the unrelenting forces behind KRA to shut down our business and render our employees jobless. It's not just about the taxes," Karanja said.
"This is about vested interests by our competitors in the industry thru the aid of powerful individuals weaponising govt institutions."