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Kenyans have their say after Keroche loses Sh9 billion appeal

Kenyans have reacted with dismay following a decision by the Tax Appeal Tribunal to allow Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to slap a tax demand of Sh9 billion on Keroche Breweries Ltd.

The Naivasha-based brewer was on Wednesday slapped with a Sh9.1 billion tax bill after losing a five-year legal battle with the taxman.

The decision could cripple the firm. After the ruling, Kenyans took to social media to rally behind the local brewer with many wondering how the company would raise the Sh9 billion.

Others questioned the government’s commitment to support local investors considering how it was dealing with Keroche and other local businesses.

Nostalgic Nairobian wrote, “So GOK would rather a local manufacturer keroche shuts down in its quest for 9b via KRA than offer tax concessions and collect 100b from them over 10yrs via in/direct taxes! Sgr Chinese got over 100b waivers but locals are to be milked till they die”

SokoAnalyst commented, “ Keroche should go public ASAP. Those who purport to own this country do not want her or her Business anymore. I Am told they are also targeting the water business. Remove Keroche, create room for foreigners who are ready to give us kickbacks for substandard products.”

Wandia Njoya posted, “ And as GoK uses KRA to witch hunt everyone from Mama Mboga to Mama Keroche, it gives tax breaks to foreigners. Oh, and the parasite investors who invaded KNH PPP deal are also getting land for free. If you a white, you get everything for free in Kenya.”

Stephen Ngugi tweeted, “ @EABL_PLChad a profit of ~8bi in the year 2018-2019. They control 90% of the market. Keroche is at 5%. It, therefore, means they make ~500-700million before tax. @KRACorporate demands 9billion! That will kill that business and all that depend on it.”

Shihachi added, “If the government is serious about supporting local business and if indeed it’s true that Keroche owes KRA, the most beneficial would be to discuss a payment plan even if it’s 10 yrs. It would benefit both parties. People depend on Keroche for their livelihood. Why run them down.”

Others, however, felt that the firm should pay up.

Droid @droid254 said: “But if Keroche really rightfully owe those taxes si they just pay… Everyone is suffering.”

Wizard of Oz @PeteroMaina added: “They should pay. It has been a behavioral practice for big and well Connected businesses owners not paying what is owed to ceasar through Patronage and corruption. It’s a high time that every Kenyan plays his or her role in the nation building.”

Keroche has announced that they will move to the High court after they were dissatisfied with the decision of the Tax Dispute Tribunal.