The business, political and religious community in Naivasha is now calling on the government to protect local investors through tax incentives and conducive working environment to conduct their business.
While backing Naivasha based Keroche Breweries in the ongoing tax war between them and KRA, the residents noted that hundreds of families benefited from the company.
They were however quick to add that they supported payment of tax warning that this should not be used to bring down companies.
For the last couple of years, Keroche and KRA have been involved in a protracted dispute over Sh9B taxes leading to court case.
Last week KRA claimed to have won the war but Keroche moved to High Court seeking to stop the former from blocking their accounts.
Addressing the press, the residents led by Dennis Gichera said that the current wrangle had raised fears among the workers, suppliers and investors https://youtu.be/AFJebnjMZPw.
Gichera noted that tens of companies and businesses had closed shop in the country due to lack of support and punitive laws introduced by the State.
“We support the move to collect tax by KRA but this should not be based on politics or business wars as is the case with Keroche,” said the trader.
He questioned the timing of the current dispute just when a foreign company had decided to put up a beer production company in Mai Mahiu Naivasha.
“We welcome investors but some government officers should not use their positions to muscle others out of business as it’s the issue with Keroche,” he said.
The sentiments were echoed by a women leader Eunice Njambi who noted that over 2,000 people directly benefited from employment in Keroche.
She noted that in the past some flower farms and vegetable processing plants had closed in Naivasha leading to job losses, a rise in crime levels and suffering of tens of families.
“In the ongoing tax war we are not taking sides but we don’t want a repeat of the situation where hundreds of families were left suffering after closure of their companies,” she said.
On his part, a youth leader Reuben Gitau said that the only way of seeking more investors in the country was by supporting local investors noting that this was not been effected by the government.
“We are living at worrying times when the government is oppressing local investors like Keroche who apart from employment have invested billions of shillings in the country,” he said.