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What’s Happening to Keroche Breweries is more than Meets the Eye

21 Jun

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja might be caricatured as the poster girl of tax evasion in Kenya, but the Keroche tax issues are more than what the media portrays.

This is how and why our manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP has fallen from 11% in 2012 to 7.2% in 2021. Yet Jubilee promised to increase it to 20%.

The issue about Keroche is not even about the weaponisation and politicisation of the tax machinery. It is not about whether she should pay taxes or not.

It is about the insanely high levels of taxation in Kenya and the complicated taxation system founded on colonialism. A beer costs the equivalent of KShs 100 in Uganda, KShs 60 in Ethiopia. But in Kenya it costs over KShs 200. Taxes in Kenya are higher than the price of the beer in other countries.

The alcoholic drinks tax code is insanely complicated. But this is deliberately so to facilitate extortion and frustration of local industrialists.

No industry can thrive or survive in such an environment. Tabitha is fighting a lost battle. Former manufacturers moved on long ago. They import everything from China branded with their Kenyan brand names.

Even tissue paper comes from China with local brand names. That is why you are groaning about its rising price.

This is what we should be discussing. But we are possessed and obsessed with politics. This is why we will never discuss the real issues. We are always blinded by politics. The politicians know this all too well. In their defense, we will support our own oppression.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2022 in Business, General News

 

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