Reprieve for Uchumi consumers, suppliers as state announces plans to inject Sh1.2Bn into retail chain

The government has announced plans to revive Uchumi Supermarket but on one condition.

State house spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the government is ready to inject Sh1.2 billion into the troubled retail chain once individuals accused of mismanaging Uchumi Supermarket thereby contributing to its downfall are prosecuted.

He said the state has collected enough evidence to press charges against the culprits that led to the collapse of the chain.

“ Uchumi has provided us with enough evidence to nail those who mismanaged the retail chain,” Esipisu explained yesterday while briefing the press.

He said the funding will be deliberated at the Cabinet level where Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed will shed light on full terms of the cash injection proposal on Tuesday.

Esipisu however cautioned the management of Uchumi, stating that the kitty must be used in a well-structured manner.

“The money going into Uchumi comes from the hard-earned taxes of Kenyans. They want to satisfy themselves that it will be used properly,” he said.

The move comes after Uchumi Supermarket, through its CEO Julius Kipng’etich, last month had requested a bail out of Sh1.2 billion from the government, saying the amount would be used to settle part of the retailer’s debt.

The reopening of the retail chain set to benefit suppliers, consumers as well as job seekers through creation of employment opportunities.

Kipng’etich has assured his customers that in the next few weeks, the previously empty shelves will be filled up once suppliers resume their deliveries.

On March 21, 2016, Uchumi Supermarket announced the closure of five outlets, a move that was seeking to help the retail chain concentrate on a leaner structure.

The closure of Taj Mall, Embu, Eldoret, Sugarland, Nakuru and Kisii branches saw over 253 employees fired as their positions were rendered redundant.

 

 

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