Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja splashes millions on newspaper ad for ‘caution’
Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja has termed her arrest and arraignment as ‘humiliating’ and a ‘messy occurrence’.
In a two-page advertisement in the local dailies, Mrs. Karanja lamented saying she, her family and staff had been subjected to ‘psychological and physical abuse.’
“By 4pm it was a pariah organisation barricaded by tens of security officials, its directors being hunted like criminals,” the advertisement reads.
A full-page advertisement costs approximately Ksh. 1.4million depending on the newspaper and the placement.
In the Wednesday advertisement in the Daily Nation and The Star newspapers, Mrs. Karanja further accused the arresting officers of sending a ‘worrisome’ signal about how Kenyan entrepreneurs are perceived and treated.
According to her, the new Commissioner General at the Kenya Revenue Authority should take up his role with ‘caution’.
She was adamant that the incident undermined her company and further maintained that there had been no tax evasion claims before August 21, 2019.
This is despite a statement from the Prosecutor during the arraignment of the two Keroche directors that they had been summoned by the taxman.
“She (Mrs. Karanja) made an appearance before KRA and as per the letter before the court, KRA went out of their way to engage them,” the Prosecutor told the court.
However, in her message in the Wednesday newspaper, Mrs Karanja maintained that the Director of Public Prosecution had been presented with ‘inaccurate information.’
Mrs. Karanja alluded to contempt, malice, sabotage and intent to defame the reputation of her company.
She urged the DPP to conduct proper investigations and avoid ‘manhandling and humiliating the Keroche Chairman and CEO’.
On August 23, Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja were released on Ksh. 10million and Ksh. 2million bail respectively after pleading not guilty to charges of tax evasion.
The case will be mentioned on September 2 and a pre-trial hearing on September 24.
KRA later released a statement rubbishing claims of fighting an individual or business.
The taxman said it is pursuing those who have “deliberately chosen to evade taxes” through various practices including failure to disclose fully the income they have earned or mis-statement of expenses to reduce the taxable income and therefore evade taxes.
““It is our intention to ensure that all persons who are required to pay taxes do so for the good of this Country. We shall treat all taxpayers with respect and afford them the desired level of services,” the KRA statement reads.