Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja (left) and her daughter, Anerlisa Muigai. Anerlisa has taken to Instagram to defend her parents following tax evasion allegations. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja (left) and her daughter, Anerlisa Muigai. Anerlisa has taken to Instagram to defend her parents following tax evasion allegations. (Photo/Anerlisa Muigai)

Keroche Breweries heiress Anerlisa Muigai has rallied on Instagram after the beer empire that her parents built comes under pressure from the taxman.

With Keroche directors Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Karanja being arrested over suspected tax fraud, their daughter is not keeping silent and is using her most renowned social media platform to show her support.

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In Instagram posts on her account, Anerlisa has displayed her support to her parents using hashtags such as #IStandWithKeroche and #IStandWithTabitha.

“It doesn’t matter what position you are in, nobody should ever watch their mother go through harassment,” she said in one of her Instagram posts.

Anerlisa also used emojis depicting prayer and love, as well as the hashtag #GodFirst in one of her Instagram posts.

As at the time of writing, Anerlisa had posted four posts, three of which are photos of her posing with her mother while one shows her parents Tabitha and Joseph Karanja together.

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A fifth post, one of the photo of President Uhuru Kenyatta, is written as an open letter. In it, Anerlisa implies that the tax evasion allegations that are being levelled against her parents is a sign of a battle against local investors.

“I am writing in regards to our local entrepreneurs. I am humbly requesting you to intervene and help/protect us all in businesses. We chose you as our President. Everyday our local entrepreneurs are being fought. We trust and believe that you will do something about it. Thank You,” she says.

The Keroche Breweries heiress, who ranks among the richest earners on Instagram in the world, is the chief executive of Nero Water Company, the firm behind the Executive Water brand.

She is engaged to Tanzanian musician Ben Pol, who also showed his support to her fiancee with replies on her Instagram.

Her parents, Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja and fellow director Joseph Karanja, founded the husband-wife brewer in 1997.

The duo was arrested at the Keroche Breweries offices in Naivasha on August 22, following a warrant of arrest that was issued the previous day by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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DPP Noordin Haji stated that the beer firm, as well as its founders, should be held on account of suspected tax fraud.

According to the DPP, Keroche Breweries, Tabitha and Joseph Karanja face counts of tax evasion amounting to a total of Ksh14 billion.

Haji had said an audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority established that they evaded payment of taxes amounting to Ksh14.451 billion between January 2015 and June 2019 in form of excise duty and Value Added Tax (VAT).

The probe, according to the DPP, established that the unremitted VAT amounted to over Ksh 12.3 billion while excise duty that was evaded was over Ksh 2.1 billion.

Following the arrest warrant issued by Haji, the Keroche CEO issued a statement citing her disbelief, saying that the DPP’s action amounted to discrimination of a local investor.

“We are deeply shocked beyond imagination by both the allegations made and the manner at which the matter has been handled from the dissemination of the information. My shock is how a local investor can be, humiliated, embarrassed and denied the well-deserved respect…” her statement read in part.

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