Murkomen Jumps to Keroche Billionaires' Defence Over Arrest Order

  • Senate's Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen (left) and Keroche Breweries founder Tabitha Karanja. Twitter
  • Senate's Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen, on Wednesday evening, made an appeal on behalf of three billionaires facing tax evasion.

    Taking to social media, the vocal politician argued that subjecting the suspects, Keroche owners, Tabitha Joseph Karanja, and Humphrey Kariuki, to arrests was tainting Kenya's image.

    Murkomen further divulged that, in order to save the country's face, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should look for alternative means to settle scores with suspects of tax evasion case.

    Senate's Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen
    Senate's Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen.

    "Whereas tax evasion is a serious crime and considering our economic situation and high rate of unemployment I urge KRA to negotiate a repayment plan for evaded taxes with Keroche and Humphrey Kariuki instead of criminal enforcement.

    "This fight must not leave the country in a worse situation than it is," argued Murkomen.

    This response comes a few hours after DPP Noordin Haji ordered for the arrest of the two Keroche bosses.

    The inquiry relates to the alleged failure to pay taxes amounting to Ksh14.4 Billion on various products manufactured and sold by Keroche Breweries Limited during the period of January 2015 to June 2019.

    "The audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) established that Keroche Breweries Limited had evaded the payment of tax totaling 14,451,836,375," read a part of the statement by the DPP.

    Haji noted that the company avoided paying, Value Added Tax (VAT) on products including; Stamps Allocated (Ksh329 million), Crescent Vodka  (Ksh135 million), Vienna Ice-Quantity Variance  (Ksh1.7Billion) Vienna Ice-Rate Variance (Ksh9 billion), and summit beers at Ksh658 million, coming to a total of Ksh12 billion.

    The arrest order comes in the backdrop of the recent arraignment of businessman Humphrey Kariuki and members of his board of directors over claims of tax evasion.

    Tabitha Karanja (left) and Joseph Karanja while launching a new beer in July 2019.
    Tabitha Karanja (left) and Joseph Karanja while launching a new beer in July 2019.