This comes barely days after Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) closed down Naivasha-based brewing company (Keroche Breweries) over KSh332 million tax arrears that, accrued since February 2021.
In an interview with KTN News, Shollei observed that the taxman should not shut down local industries because there will be no chances for them to pay the taxes.
She said just like any other company, Keroche Breweries suffered mainly because of the Covid-19 pandemic which significantly affected business models, and termed the closure of the Naivasha-based brewer as unacceptable.
Shollei, a fierce critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged the head of state to waive the KSh 332 million taxes Keroche Breweries owes Kenya Revenue Authority just like he did with NCBA bank in 2019.
“When NIC Bank and CBA bank merged, they were supposed to pay KSh 330 million in taxes. The taxes were waived and they paid zero taxes. So why can’t the government, the same KRA who waived taxes for the NIC bank and CBA bank merger not waive the taxes for a local industry which is a homegrown industry?,
“Kenyans should not forget that 24 percent of CBA bank was owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family. Obviously, he (President Uhuru Kenyatta) is giving tax exemptions to his own family business so that their business can survive and kill indigenous Kenyan businesses,” she said.
Keroche Breweries chief executive Tabitha Karanja who has expressed ambition for the Nakuru senatorial seat on Deputy President William Ruto’s (UDA) party said the closure would see thousands of Kenyans lose their jobs.
In a detailed letter to the president, Karanja noted that they have over 2 million litres of been in their storage tanks worth KSh512 million which needs KSh30 million monthly to maintain.
“The recent closure by KRA has drained all our resources and unfortunately if nothing is done in the next seven days, we will be forced to drain down all the beer and lay down over 250 direct employees and thousands within our nationwide distribution network,” Karanja said.