Chaos at Keroche Breweries over raid attempt

Operations at the multi-billion-shilling Keroche Breweries were paralysed the whole of yesterday as the management thwarted an attempt to raid it.

There was chaos as a group of youths eager to destroy the company’s products were kept at bay by anti-riot police officers at the main gate.

But senior officers led by Rift Valley regional commissioner Osman Warfa and Naivasha MP John Kihagi were allowed into the factory.

At one time Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) officers disabled the production and locked the warehouse to the management’s anger. The company’s CEO Tabitha Karanja ordered all the officers and the MP to leave.

Addressing the Press, the CEO accused the MP of waging a political war on the company. Ms Karanja resisted attempts to ferry the products to the police station, saying she had paid taxes and adhered to all the rules.

“The MP should pay us the taxes that we have paid and then take the liquor to his hired goons for destruction as he wants,” she said while questioning the MP’s move to stop the production of Summit beer which was “not in the list of suspended drinks”.

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja introducing Summit Beer to the market. She questioned the MP’s move to stop the production of Summit beer which was “not in the list of suspended drinks”. 

Kihagi accused KEBS of misleading them over the suspended products.

“We have a lot of respect for Keroche Breweries but some Government officers are issuing different directions on this operation,” he said.

But KEBS officials said they had issued a list of all suspended products which included two  from Keroche.

“We have written to all the concerned factories directing that they stop producing any liquor until a fresh audit is done,” said one of the officers.

Later, KEBS officers closed the plant’s production factory and its warehouse to pave way for further investigations.