Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja joins UDA

DP William Ruto welcomes entrepreneur Tabitha Karanja to UDA on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 in Nakuru. [Courtesy]

Keroche Breweries founder and CEO Tabitha Karanja has joined the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Karanja, who is eyeing the Nakuru Senate seat in the August 9 General Election, officially joined Deputy President William Ruto’s political camp on Wednesday, January 26, when Ruto held a rally at the Nakuru Show Grounds.

“We do have a senator in her (Karanja), right?” posed Ruto as he welcomed the businesswoman to UDA.

“This lady is manifest of how the bottom-up economic model works. She started a small alcoholic beverages company here in Nakuru [in 1997]. The company has now grown, and is employing many people. Would you like to see her work with me, [Moses] Wetang’ula, Musalia Mudavadi, Susan Kihika, Ndindi Nyoro, [Nderitu] Gachagua, among others [in UDA]?” posed the deputy president.

Ruto was accompanied to the rally by Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, among other leaders, including tens of MPs and senators.

The joint campaigns mark the first time Ruto, Wetang’ula and Mudavadi are hitting the road together following their October 23 coalition agreement.

Karanja, 57, said if she wins the Nakuru senate seat in August, she will ensure laws that cushion businesspeople against harassment by the State are introduced.

The entrepreneur, who has had a run-in with KRA over tax disputes, first announced her political ambition in October last year.

She is seeking to succeed Susan Kihika, who will run for Nakuru Governor seat against the incumbent Lee Kinyanjui, who is affiliated to ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja side.

As of October 2012, Tabitha-founded Keroche accounted for 20 per cent of Kenya's beer consumption.