The three-year-old tax evasion case against the directors of Keroche Breweries Industry Ltd continues to drag on.
The matter came up for mention on Tuesday(February 7, 2023) before Milimani trial magistrate Esther Kimilu, who adjourned it to March.
In the case, the Kenya Revenue Authority is demanding Sh14.5 billion in tax arrears from Keroche Directors – Tabitha Muigai Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja.
Mr Karanja has since had all charges withdrawn against him on account of his health condition. Medical reports tabled in court last year showed he had been admitted to Karen Hospital.
The hospital later referred him to the UK where he is reportedly currently receiving specialized treatment.
The prosecution informed the court that only Tabitha will remain in the case; the Nakuru Senator is out on a Sh5 million cash bail after she denied 10 counts related to evading taxes.
A Milimani Court yesterday directed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to furnish Karanja’s lawyers with copies of witness documents.
The case will be mentioned on March 13, for purpose of confirming whether the prosecution has supplied all documents to the defense.
Meanwhile, Tabitha Karanja has maintained that the tax demand of Sh14 billion from the taxman is incorrect.
She said between June 2015 to June 2019, Kerocho Breweries Ltd used 60.9 million liters of crescent vodka mixed with 101.1 million liters of distilled water to make 162 million liters of viena ice ready to drink vodka (15 percent alcohol content).
Using this formula, Tabitha said she was supposed to pay Sh7.3 billion in taxes.
Karanja said the amount of Vodka ingredients used by KRA in its calculations to arrive at Sh14 billion was flawed.
“Kenya has shortages of fools to believe that 101,088,000.00 Lts of distilled water can generate Kes.12 Billion as excise tax unless a miracle was performed and water was turned into vodka,” the Senator said.
“The only person we know who changed water into wine was Jesus and it was given for free to the multitude.”