A man has gone to court to stop Keroche Breweries chief executive Tabitha Karanja from running for Nakuru Senate seat on charges of tax evasion.
With less than 77 days to go until the August 9 general election, Daniel Mahiri wants the court to declare Ms Karanja unfit to hold public office.
Karanja is the flag bearer of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the race.
Mr Mahiri’s petition will be heard today by Judge Joel Ngugi, sitting in Nakuru, via video link.
Mr Mahiri filed the petition in Nairobi on May 12 under an emergency certificate and listed the UDA, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) , the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Office of the Ombudsman. as respondents alongside Ms. Karanja.
But Judge Anthony Mrima ordered that the case be transferred to the Nakuru High Court.
The judge said that after seeing the petition, he noted that the alleged violations of the Constitution occurred in Nakuru County, hence the decision to transfer her.
The case was brought before Judge Ngugi on May 19 and he ordered Mr. Mahiri to serve the documents on all parties.
“Plaintiff/Applicant shall serve all Respondents with all documents in the Case and return for directions between the parties on Tuesday, May 24 via Zoom videoconference,” Judge Ngugi’s order reads.
In the petition, Mr. Mahiri based his action on allegations of tax evasion and economic crimes committed by Keroche Breweries.
He says that since 2006, Keroche has been charged in numerous cases with crimes related to tax evasion.
“In most cases, the first defendant (Keroche) has essentially admitted non-payment of taxes and entered into numerous settlements with the KRA for the reimbursement of taxes,” the petition states.
Mr. Mahiri says the only time Keroche has agreed to pay back taxes is after the lawsuits.
He says that even after being given a chance through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Keroche still dishonored negotiation agreements, wondering if there is good will on his part to pay taxes. .
Mr Mahiri says there is a criminal case number 1436 of 2019 in the anti-corruption court where the CEO was charged with various tax offenses amounting to 14,451,836,375 shillings.
He says Keroche is not just a suspect, but a fully admitted fraudster with no appeal pending.
“It speaks of a citizen who is unwilling to pay the taxes owed until she is prosecuted,” the petition reads.
Mr. Mahiri reiterates that tax evasion is a crime and acceptance of the crime does not take away the fact that the crime has been committed, on the contrary, it proves beyond reasonable doubt that the crime has been committed and denies any legal basis for the person to be declared innocent of the crime.