Keroche sues KRA chief Githii Mburu over ‘contempt of court’

James Githii Mburu

Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner- General James Githii Mburu.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Keroche Breweries has filed a contempt application against the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General James Githii Mburu over alleged disobedience of court orders to reopen the alcohol processing plant.

In the application, the brewer said it is on the verge of suffering a loss of beer valued at Sh350 million, Sh189 million of it being excise duty.

It said Mr Mburu has disregarded court orders dated July 14, 2022 directing KRA to reopen the plant in Naivasha and allow it to carry on with its business pending determination of the alleged tax evasion dispute.

“The court order was issued in presence of the KRA's lawyer and on July 15, 2022 at 4.30pm, KRA was furnished with the same order which they acknowledged receipt and stamped on the same,” said the brewer in court papers.

It added that although the court directed that the orders be complied forthwith, no action has been taken by KRA to enforce compliance.

The brewer’s chief executive officer Tabitha Karanja, in a supporting affidavit, said as a result of the continued closure, the brewer risks suffering the loss of 87,500 litres of beer that had been filtered and ready for packaging.

She also said the plant will lose 1,250,000 litres (six tanks) of beer that was ready for filtration and packaging and other finished products in the stores. The total value of the beer is Sh350 million, she stated.

“The processing plant in Naivasha has remained closed and if this application is not heard on a priority basis by this court and Mr Mburu punished for disobeying court orders, Keroche risks suffering actual and imminent losses, which include loss of raw materials such as melted barley, sorghum and hops. It will also lose Sh35 million being the monthly salaries and operational costs of utilities,” said Ms Karanja.

She added that the brewer will suffer because of the accruing interest on loans advanced by Absa, Equity and Family banks, plus loss of market share occasioned by the absence of its products in the market.