Nakuru Governor blasts KRA over Keroche bosses arrest


Nakuru Governor blasts KRA over Keroche bosses arrest
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui. PHOTO | FILE

In Summary

  • In a statement issued on Thursday, Governor Kinyanjui said he was "saddened" by how the Keroche Breweries founders had been "reduced to fugitives" despite their immense contribution to the economy.
  • The Nakuru Governor noted that hundreds of the companies employees could have their jobs at risk, should the matter fail to addressed amicably.
  • Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph were arrested on Thursday after spending over 12 hours holed up at their Naivasha-based brewery following arrest orders issued on Wednesday.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has faulted the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over the manner in which Keroche Breweries owners Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Karanja were apprehended over allegations of tax evasion.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Governor Kinyanjui said he was “saddened” by how the Keroche Breweries founders were “reduced to fugitives” despite their immense contribution to the economy.

The alcoholic drinks manufacturing firm is based in Naivasha, Nakuru County and according to Governor Kinyanjui, the company is one of the major employers in the area.

“We are greatly saddened by the manner in which KRA is treating local investors and in particular how they have treated the Keroche Industries Ltd. The company is a major employer in Naivasha and the entire region,” said the Governor.

“While there may be tax matters that require redress, it would be an act of utmost betrayal to Kenyans who have built their businesses over the years, to be reduced to fugitives.”

The Nakuru Governor noted that hundreds of the companies employees could have their jobs at risk, should the matter fail to be addressed amicably.

“The over 500 employees who are directly engaged by the company and thousands of others who are indirect beneficiaries stand to lose their jobs if the matter is not handled amicably. We must treat the owners of capital with caution otherwise we shall be staring at major job loses,” he said.

He added: “The quest to enhance tax collection must be balanced with the need to protect businesses and save jobs. Ignoring this business reality, will lead to 100 percent compliance but leave half the industries closed.”

Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph were arrested on Thursday after spending over 12 hours holed up at their Naivasha-based brewery following arrest orders issued on Wednesday.

Detectives led them out of the building into separate Subaru vehicles that had been parked outside their premises since Wednesday night.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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