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Keroche mulls laying off 400 staff amid KRA closure

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By Judith Gicobi

As it fights the recent closure it received from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) due to tax arrears, troubled local brewer Keroche Breweries plans to fire 400 employees.

The company was shut down on May 15 as a result of defaulting on a previously negotiated plan to pay tax arrears totaling Ksh.30 million, according to Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja, who made the announcement last Tuesday.

Through a series of tweets on Monday morning, Karanja confirmed that 400 employees at Keroche will be sent home on June 20 as a result of the shutdown.

“I was thinking aloud on Sunday afternoon and pondering how I will relay the painful message to our employees on Monday that we will be laying them off as a result of KRA’s closure,” she wrote.

“The company is at the verge of laying off over 400 employees due to the illegal, punitive and draconian actions by the KRA.”

She further criticized many government entities for their alleged disregard for the company’s problems, adding that the company is staring at tanks full with beer that would go to waste since they have been pushed to drain them away.

In order to protect the welfare of the workers, Ms. Karanja now requests that the Labour ministry take notice and investigate the situation.

The shutdown is politically driven, according to Karanja, who plans to run for the Nakuru Senate seat in the August elections.

She cites her problems on her decision to enter politics via the UDA party, which is headed by Deputy President William Ruto.

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She revealed last week that the taxman had proceeded to notify many banks not to finance the brewer, completely paralyzing them.

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