Keroche owner ‘spoke to Raila before joining Ruto’
Keroche Breweries owner Tabitha Karanja says she spoke to Raila Odinga before settling to work with William Ruto ahead of the August 2022 polls.
Karanja is gunning for the Nakuru Senate seat and has since announced she will fly the flag on Ruto’s newly formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party which she describes as popular in the region.
“My team conducted a lot of opinion polls and we found out that UDA is the right political vehicle because my aim is not to try my hand in politics but win,” she explained in an interview on Citizen TV.
“I’ve talked to everyone including Raila and he’d told me to wait after February, I waited but the ground has not changed.”
Karanja stopped short of admitting that she was joining politics to try and safeguard her family interests even as she confessed the challenges facing the brewery have been caused by her competitors, whom she did not name.
The beer firm is locked in a tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) leading to its temporary closure. The stand-off, she says, could lead to the loss of 250 jobs and beer worth Sh500 million.
She maintains the company has paid taxes on time through its 16 years of existence.
“Keroche’s current annual tax remittances amount to approximately Sh2 billion. The firm has been progressively working to capture increased market share, which at full capacity, would lead to remittances of annual taxes in excess of Sh10 billion and would create more direct and indirect employment for thousands of Kenyans,” said Karanja.
The aspiring politician has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help settle the tax dispute even as Kenyans on social media had their say on the matter.
Just because Tabitha Karanja decamped from assmio to UDA, they are now sending KRA to close Keroche Breweries. We shall end this nonsense on 9th August 2022. KRA should desist from political assignments.#RutoInUSA pic.twitter.com/FPeGxRJ7Vm
— Davis Ruto, HSC (@SenatorRuto) March 4, 2022
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has today used Kshs 4M of your tax to buy 4 pages of a public notice space in Daily Nation and The Standard, to explain to you why it shut down the business of Keroche Breweries Ltd, to collect tax from it. Why is the Commissioner-General in office?
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) March 9, 2022
During a global pandemic and in the midst of global economic turbulence, the Government of Kenya wants to shut down Keroche Breweries worth Ksh. 100,000,000,000 because of a tiny tax dispute which would result in thousands of Kenyans becoming unemployed. Mafia cartels washindwe!
— Dr. John Njenga Karugia PhD. (@johnnjenga) March 10, 2022
On the @keroche_ltd issue all they are asking for is more time not a waiver, yet we recall @KRACorporate @KRACare in unclear circumstances waived taxes for a financially performing entity during the process of merger , why this discrimination and hostility against @keroche_ltd
— Martha Karua SC (@MarthaKarua) March 9, 2022