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Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja should stop blame games, carry her cross; pay employees, KRA

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While Keroche breweries limited deserves a fair and a levelled playing grounds to do business, the Tabitha-led company must learn to deal with its past sins.

In the past few months we saw six distributors affiliated to Keroche Breweries Limited suffering a blow after the High Court allowed East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) to collect from the market all its branded bottles pending the determination of the case. In her ruling, Justice Grace Nzioka noted that EABL has the right to use, collect and package beer in bottles engraved with its logo.

The six distributors — Alexander Mugo, Jacob Wamiti, Phasty Wachira, Samuel Kamau, Catherine Wanjiru and Herman Mwaura — had accused EABL of engraving its logo on the brown bottles with the shape in a bid to prevent rivals from using them.

They wanted the court to permanently bar EABL and its subsidiary Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) and their agents from embossing beer bottles with any exclusive mark or unique initials.

The six argued that allowing EABL to exclusively use the brown bottles is “irrational, unreasonable, an abuse of intellectual property and misuse of dominance.’

They quickly sponsored a hash tag on twitter asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to save Keroche “#UhuruSaveKeroche”. This too flopped.

While Kenyans may assume that Keroche breweries limited is being fought by its competitors and powers-that-be, the truth is that the problems this Company faces is internally brewed. Their blame games are not genuine.

Keroche breweries is one company that has caused pain and consternation to it’s employees. Keroche does not pay its workers, some of them are owed huge figures that runs into millions of Shillings.

Keroche makes profit and does not care to pay its workers nor submit taxes to KRA. Their endless wars with the taxman will only be addressed if Keroche limited will be true to itself and learn to give caesar what belongs to caesar as the Bible records.

Another problem facing Keroche is employing incompetent individuals at its management level. Keroche limited leads in the number of incompetent people in its top management level. Right from the Human resource, corporate affairs Officer to the rest of top employees are a bunch of incompetent staff. Most of them were hired based on friendship or family basis not on the ground of their competency.

If they had competent staff in their top management levels, even the junior employees would have been hired on competitively. Sources say, they recruit staff based on their political grounds- the positions one has vied for, political parties one is affiliated to and one is active politically. And then they expect this group of people to deliver. What a disgrace!

Tabitha is yet to realize that professional managers would have advised her to file her tax returns. They would have discouraged the hide and seek games with the Caesar.

If only keroche breweries limited had competent staff in its top management, then stopping the taxman from recovering Sh9.1 billion in taxes from its accounts would have not been an option but hiring competent individuals and paying wages it owes its workers would be the remedy. Tabitha owes her some of her staff allowances and salaries that dates back to late last year.

You can’t withhold employees’ salaries and allowances for several months at a time you earn huge profits daily and still expects to succeed.

Remember Keroche limited owes KRA upto sh23 billion. This began in November 29, 2006 when keroche owed the taxman sh1.1 billion. It rose to Sh9.1 billion before shooting to sh23 billion as Keroche claims.

Before pointing fingers to her competitors and government, let her stop blame games, carry her cross; pay employees, KRA even in instalments.