Someone once said that Uchumi Supermarket was dead. That it was dead but the owners had refused to release the body for final rights hoping that it would resurrect.
The once vibrant retail chain has been moving from one economic turmoil to another with the latest being the ejection from its headquarters over accumulated rent.
According to reports, Uchumi’s top management has not accessed their offices since the 2nd of October over millions of shillings in rent arrears.
The building is owned by the National Trading Corporation and their move has seen Uchumi moving to court to seek an intervention of the judiciary saying the owner has defied a court order.
Uchumi Supermarket has closed down most of its branches both within and without Kenya in a desperate move to try and remain afloat. The government had come in to try and bail the historic retailer out but debts keep on choking it.
The ejection from their headquarters comes a time when Githunguri Dairy has applied for the winding up of Uchumi brand in a desperate move to have it paid a total of 44.8 million shillings in debts.
Uchumi owes creditors billions of shillings in debts. Most of the creditors have moved to court seeking the auctioning of the remaining assets to recover their cash.
Uchumi owes Chandaria Industries 69 million shillings followed by Equatorial Nut Processors Ltd which is owed 21 million shillings. Githunguri Dairy, Interconsumer Products Ltd and Professional Marketing Services Ltd are owed 45, 38 and 4 million shillings respectively.
Uchumi supermarket has been unable to pay any of the debts to the creditors with most of the investors calling for its winding up, assets sold so that creditors can be paid. The retailer had kicked off an exercise to restock some of the stores but it seems it is such in a bad shape to take off.