Check out Full List of companies shut by KRA that have been reopened by Ruto

Over 20 local breweries that were closed down under the previous administration of president Uhuru Kenyatta have since reopened.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) conducted multiple raids at the alcohol producers before closing them down due to allegations of tax evasion.

According to the Daily Nation, Humphrey Kariuki, a rich businessman, owns Africa Spirits, one of the businesses that have started up.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua mocked the taxman a week earlier for shutting down neighborhood businesses, which resulted in hundreds of job losses and lost income.

He claimed that the Kenya Kwanza government, led by President William Ruto, would not consider such actions.

“The issue of closing factories for taxpayers who are suffering is a thing of the past because it is foolish. The issue of tax notices and agency notices where you close accounts if you shut down an account for six months (and) somebody cannot do business, where will you collect tax the following year?” he posed.

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Following his statement, several companies that had been shut down opened doors again.

Which factories were reopened?

1. Africa Spirits

The Thika-based factory was shut down in February 2019 over KSh 41 billion tax evasion allegations.

KRA accused the company of using counterfeit stamps.

However, Africa Spirits owner Humphrey Kariuki was let off the hook after Justice Antony Mrima said his prosecution was unlawful.

The taxman has since appealed the ruling.

2. Mount Kenya Breweries Ltd

In April 2021, the taxman closed Mt Kenya Breweries over failure to file tax returns and the use of fake stamps.

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KRA shut down the brewer after raiding Mt Kenya Breweries premises in Nanyuki on April 9 and 10, 2021.

“Investigations are still ongoing, and the intention is to suspend the license, establish the extent of revenue loss, prosecute the company and directors for tax evasion as soon as investigation is complete,” the taxman stated.

3. Rift Valley Brewing Company

The taxman raided the Naivasha-based brewer in 2020 over the use of illegal KRA stickers.

During the raid, the police arrested 20 workers, but the owner managed to escape.

KRA acted on a tip-off from members of the public.

Other companies that have resumed operations are Wananchi Breweries Ltd, Vinepack Ltd, Big Five Breweries Ltd, Elle Kenya Ltd, Lumat Company Ltd, and Tona Brewing Ltd.
William Ruto says gov’t to forgive some sins

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On Tuesday, October 11, President William Ruto hinted at waiving tax arrears for companies involved in disputes with KRA.

Speaking during the launch of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Market Place, he said the government was ready to forgive some sins.

“I am told that the private companies are reluctant to join the NSE because there are tax issues that may arise. I want to promise private companies that whatever tax issues may arise, we are willing to work with you and solve them…we are ready to forgive some sins,” Ruto said.

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