Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja came face to face with the ugly side of politics following an attack on her political ambitions on social media.
Ms Karanja, who joined the Nakuru senatorial race on Wednesday through the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), found herself on the defence after critics questioned her managerial skills at her company.
The attack exposed her soft underbelly as she laid bare the amount of taxes her multibillion shilling factory contributed to the country at optimum operations.
In a strong-worded response to her critics, Karanja dismissed allegations that she was running down the business and that her political move was likely to kill her business.
“It pains me when I see an educated person refuse to reason, research and apply logic and instead misinform and intimidate people who are trying to play part in building our economy,” said Karanja.
She is vying for the Senate seat against among others Industrialisation CAS Lawrence Karanja, politician Andrew Yatich, Koigi wa Wamwere, Michael Wechuli, Daniel Kimani and Kelvin Migongo.
She explained that building the Keroche brand in an unconducive environment was no mean feat.
Karanja who has been in a tax row with KRA described her brewery as the country’s second-largest with modern technology that allows it to produce tens of thousands of bottles of beer per hour.
“The brewery uses state of the art technology and has two beer packaging lines. The first one officially packages 40,000 bottles and the second one 15,000 bottles per hour,” said Karanja.
She went further to explain that if the brewery operates at full capacity (55,000 bottles per hour) it would contribute to the economy in excess of Sh17 billion in taxes per year.
“With Sh121.85 excise duty on beer per litre, the factory would contribute Sh56.9 million per day, Sh1.48 billion per month and Sh17.77 billion per year as tax to the exchequer,” she said.
She added that the factory also fills 10,000 bottles of spirit drinks per hour with an excise duty of Sh278.70 per litre, an equivalent of Sh11.1 million per day and Sh3.34 billion annually in taxes.
During the launch of her senatorial bid, Karanja said that her aim is to push for laws that will protect businesses from unfavourable policies that have seen some major investors close shop or relocate to other countries.