Uchumi begins journey to repay suppliers

In Summary

• Uchumi Supermarkets filed a creditors plan to the High Court on Friday.

• Part of the proposals include to quicken their ongoing restructuring .

Pedestrians walk past Uchumi Supermarket along Mama Ngina walk in Nairobi
Pedestrians walk past Uchumi Supermarket along Mama Ngina walk in Nairobi
Image: FILE

Uchumi supermarkets’ creditors and suppliers are set to receive money for their unpaid bills after a long battle to recover them.

Uchumi Supermarkets filed a creditors plan to the High Court on Friday, which  lays out plans that the struggling store will take to reduce their debt of close to Sh3.6 billion.

Part of the proposals under the creditors' plan include to quicken their ongoing restructuring process, waiving off some of the retail chain’s debt and cost management.

“The creditors' plan presents the most viable route to normalcy while taking care of our suppliers, lenders, staff, shareholders and other stakeholders’ interests. This plan demonstrates our commitment towards our stakeholders and we urge everyone to work with us to return Uchumi to its glory days,” Uchumi chief executive Mohamed Mohamed said in a statement.

Last October, Uchumi sought court protection to fend off multiple creditors in 45 legal suits who are scrambling to dispose of its assets to recover debts.

In the plan, it has also announced the appointment of Owen Koimburi, a licensed insolvency practitioner with 20 years experience in accounting and financial management as the Interim Supervisor to lead on creditors interests.

In December, the retail store announced reforms to clear huge debts accrued to its creditors and suppliers well as return to normal operations as it sets a path for to full recovery.

The plans included restocking its branches, rebranding and returning to full operations in a timely manner.

Similarly, it formed a committee consisting of retail, legal and accounting consultants to spearhead the restructuring processes.

The supermarket is currently keen on opening smaller branches and embracing digital platforms as it fights to get back customers who have since moved to newer, more dynamic retailers. Customers are keen on efficiency and well stocked shelves, an area that Uchumi had failed in, eventually closing several units.  

Over a week ago, the retailer announced the appointment of Beiju Shah and Fred Rabongo as independent non-executive directors.

Baiju is a technology and financial systems expert while Rabongo is a corporate business strategist and and a businessman with a background in advertising, marketing , outsourcing and business development.