KRA Commissioner General tells court why Keroche was not reopened

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Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja at Milimani Law Courts at an earlier date. Photo/Sam Alfan

The Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General James Mburu has told court that he is not to blame for the failure to reopen Keroche Breweries.

While opposing a contempt of court application filed against him by Keroche, Mburu said be involved in the day to day management and directions of the department but confirms he gives strategic directions to the head of departments.

The court had ordered KRA to reopen Keroche Breweries but failed.

According to Mburu, the administration of Domestic taxes, corporation tax, value added tax, excise tax, withholding VAT tax and income tax is done under Domestic Taxes Department which is headed by a commissioner.

The Commissioner General denied involvement in the day to day management and directions of the department but confirms he gives strategic directions to the head of departments.

He sighted the challenges of implementing the order directing the taxman to reopen Keroche Breweries by referring the court to the history of the dispute.

Failure to pay current taxes

Mburu accused Keroche Breweries of failing to pay current taxes as per the order dated 14th July 2022 which requires the company to pay taxes in compliance with that order.

By allowing Keroche Breweries to continue collecting taxes and not remitting the same, I will not be executing his mandate of ensuring the taxes that fall due are remitted in a timely manner and all taxpayers remit their fair share of taxes,” Mburu said in his affidavit.

He further adds that by allowing Keroche Breweries to continue operating its business and collecting taxes without remitting the same to KRA on the basis that 400 Kenyans will lose their jobs and livelihood will amount to giving undue advantage over other taxpaying business who diligently pay their taxes.

According to Mburu, KRA engagement with Keroche Breweries demonstrates that it has been in numerous occasions accorded support and opportunity to keep afloat and continue trading but remains uncooperative and refuses to pay its share of taxes.

Mburu claimed that this would introduce a distortion in the market that will end up killing those tax paying businesses.

“Employment will thus be lost when tax paying businesses close down due to unfair competition from those collecting and not remitting,” Mburu added.