KRA Defends Actions against Keroche Breweries, Denies Unfairly Targeting Local Investors

Haji also ordered Joseph’s arrest

Keroche-fest
Tabitha and Joseph Karanja who jointly own Keroche Breweries when they launched a new beer in July 2019.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has defended its actions against tax evaders after the management of Keroche Breweries Limited read mischief in an arrest order issued Wednesday by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

KRA said in a statement on Thursday that the fight against tax evasion is not targeting any business staff or individual.

The authority stated that it has the responsibility of facilitating trade in a conducive environment and urged all eligible taxpayers to pay their dues.

It pointed out that it will pursue only those who have deliberately chosen to evade their tax payment so that they are brought to book.

“Kenyans should reject the narrative that KRA is fighting any individual or business. On the contrary, KRA has the additional responsibility of trade facilitation under which we support a business environment that is conducive for the growth of business,” the statement said.It pointed out that it will pursue only those who have deliberately chosen to evade their tax payment so that they are brought to book.

The Authority revealed that mechanisms have also been put in place to identify members of staff who aid in tax evasion and that those found culpable will be dealt with decisively.

Keroche-breweries-founder-and-CEO-Tabitha-Karanja
Keroche breweries founder and C.E.O Tabitha Karanja

“Majority of KRA staff are honest and committed to supporting Kenyans in paying their taxes. We are committed to weeding from our midst those of our staff who abuse the privilege Kenyans have bestowed on us by engaging in corrupt conduct.”

The statement came even as Keroche Breweries Managing Director Tabitha Karanja slammed Haji for ordering her arrest over a Sh14.5 billion tax fraud investigation.

In a statement sent to newsrooms Wednesday , Karanja described the tax fraud claims as baseless and without facts.

She further stated that she has not received any communication from the office of the DPP nor has any investigating officer questioned her over the alleged fraud.

“I have never seen any investigating officer in our brewery at any given time in Keroche’s lifetime. It is such a gross violation, harassment and intimidation by such a high office in our beloved country,” she stated.

She pointed out that the way the matter has been handled was humiliating, embarrassing and that she has been treated without respect.

“We are deeply shocked beyond imagination by both the allegations made and the manner in which the matter has been handled from the dissemination of the information.”

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On Wednesday, Haji ordered the arrest of Tabitha who co-owns the company with her husband Joseph Karanja over tax fraud.

Haji also ordered Joseph’s arrest. Haji stated that he perused an investigation file submitted by KRA on Sunday, which recommended the prosecution of Tabitha and her husband for evading taxes totaling Sh14.5 billion between January 2015 and June 2019.

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