Kenya Breweries is out to Kill Competitors

According to sources, KBL is said to have exerted a lot of pressure on the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to squeeze Keroche Breweries out of business, by using tax demand as a basis. In essence, KRA is abusing the constitution

By The Weekly Vision

The Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), makers of popular beer brands like Tusker, White Cap, Pilsner and Guinness appear to have transformed themselves into a monster out to ruthlessly kill competition in the beer brewing industry.

The company seems to have made a corporate decision to use its financial might, coupled with its connections within governments in the region to frustrate any emerging brewer. KBL also enjoys a significant presence in Uganda, Tanzania and even Rwanda.  KBL’s most significant competitor in the country, Naivasha-based Keroche Breweries has been forced to halt production, putting at stake the 1, 500 direct jobs and company annual revenues which are in excess of Khs. 10 billion when a cooked-up tax arrears demands from KRA hit them.

According to sources, KBL is said to have exerted a lot of pressure on the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to squeeze Keroche Breweries out of business, by using tax demand as a basis. In essence, KRA is abusing the constitution. Keroche Breweries is being treated like corporate tax evaders, not as a corporate entity that owes money to KRA. They are in arrears and both parties should sit around the table and reach an agreement to find a working formula that suits both sides.

This is not the first time KBL is waging ruthless tax wars against Keroche breweries through a proxy, they once waged a similar war against Keroche when they started questioning the size of bottles Keroche was using to package their beer brands, and then followed it up with the defacing and destruction of billboards mounted by Keroche.

A source within the national security sector told www.theweeklyvision.net ‘’we have filed many confidential investigative reports about these incidents by KBL but no action is ever taken,” That just shows you the level of power KBL has over top government officials in Kenya and the region.

According to the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), the story does not stop there since KBL also has a stranglehold over major media houses in the country, they cannot dare report anything negative about KBL for fear of losing millions in advertisement

As of the end of the last financial year, KBL under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jane Karuku and Chairman Martin Oduor-Otieno formerly of KCB reported raked in Khs. 86 billion in profits, a 15% increase from the previous year. What is clear is the monster that KBL is, decided to use proxies to strike at its lone competitor.  They discovered that Keroche is highly vulnerable since they have little influence within the corridors of power.

According to the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), the story does not stop there since KBL also has a stranglehold over major media houses in the country, they cannot dare report anything negative about KBL for fear of losing millions in advertisements. Another source said, Keroche is not the first to fall victim to KBL’s vicious and ruthless corporate war, South African Breweries came here with its popular Castle beer brand and an ultra-modern brewing factory in Thika at a cost of Kshs. 550 million. Using its deep connection within the government, KBL successfully created a hostile environment; they couldn’t survive and had to close shop.

There is also the critical question of foreign objects being found in some of KBL’s bottled beers, especially the larger brands like Tusker, Pilsner and White Cap. 

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