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December 16, 2018

Nakumatt's Atul Shah loses over Sh125m as Ukay mall goes down

Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A
Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Nakumatt owner Atul Shah counted at least Sh125 million in losses on Friday, when agencies demolished Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county.

The former CEO, who witnessed the demolition of the building that housed the outlet, said he salvaged 50 percent of his property.

He told the Star that the cost of the furniture inside the building was Sh125 million.

Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah addresses the press outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Nakumatt went into voluntary supervision earlier this year after seeking protection from its creditors. Peter Kahi is the chain's court-appointed administrator.

The retailer, which grew from a mattress shop in a rural town to have branches across Kenya and East Africa, was forced to shut more than a dozen outlets last year as it struggled to repay its suppliers, landlords and other creditors.

It was reported in June that Shah would be investigated over the loss of Sh18 billion ($179 million) worth of stock.

Read: Nakumatt ex-CEO Atul Shah faces investigation over loss of Sh18 billion

The multi-agency team handling Nairobi's regeneration started demolishing the mall at about 5.30 am following an executive order.

CBD Chief Julius Wanjau, who is in charge of the operation, said they were not served with the court order that Ukay owners claim to have obtained.

More on this: Government demolishes Ukay mall despite owners' court move

Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Members of the public are keen on buildings that will be flattened as the government reclaims riparian land.

The goal is to clear illegal structures from river banks in Nairobi, a two-month exercise that will see 4,000 buildings demolished.

The demolitions are a litmus test for the national and county governments that have for decades been accused of allowing developments on riparian reserves, especially by wealthy politicians and government officials.

 Details: Over 4,000 buildings to go in operation to secure Nairobi River

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