Keroche Goes After KRA Over Contempt Of Court

Keroche Breweries has filed a contempt application against the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the agency’s Commissioner General Githii Mburu for disregarding a High Court order to re-open its alcohol processing plant.

The brewer requested Mburu’s arrest for contempt of court in a High Court application that was submitted on Friday by H&K law advocates.

The High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya issued an order on July 14 directing KRA to reopen the brewery, but the tax agency filed a court motion on July 18 asking for an injunction to prevent the reopening.

Keroche’s attorneys claim that Lady Justice Abigael Mshilla did not certify KRA’s application to not reopen the brewer and that no orders were made in relation to the application.

“Notwithstanding the orders issued Lady Justice Mshilla, the respondent (KRA) is yet to comply with the orders of the court issued by Justice Mabeya on July 14, 2022 which have not been set aside and/or stayed,” the court documents read.

Keroche Breweries was shut down by KRA on May 15 after the Naivasha-based brewery disregarded a tax repayment plan that called for it to pay Sh957 million in 24 months.

In its defense, Keroche claimed that due to the challenging business environment and the impending payment of the first installment covering the tax arrears, it was unable to adhere to the payment schedule.

The lawyers pointed out that by keeping the plant closed, Keroche runs the risk of losing Sh350 million worth of beer, including 87,500 liters that are filtered and ready for packaging at the factory and 1,250,000 liters that are.

Raw materials, such as malted barley and sorghum, accrued interest from bank loans made to them, as well as a loss of market share and distribution channels, are some other losses that are anticipated.

To ensure a swift decision, the brewer asked the court to certify the application as urgent.

“The Applicant(Keroche) is apprehensive that if this application is not heard on a priority basis, the respondent will continue to deliberately ignore and/or neglect the orders of the court occasioning the Applicant losses as particularized,” Keroche told the court.