Uchumi seeks part sale of land in Kasarani

Uchumi Supermarket

Uchumi Supermarket along Aga Khan Walk Nairobi on January 12, 2020. The branch has since closed.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Uchumi has been struggling to recover, weighed down by multibillion-shilling shilling debt to creditors and suppliers.
  • High Court had stopped the planned sale and all pending debt recovery cases, outstanding loans, and rent claims against Uchumi.

Uchumi Supermarket wants the government to approve the sale of a portion of the disputed 20-acre Kasarani land to Jewel Complex for Sh400 million.

The retailer is also hoping to get an additional Sh600 million bailout from the State as well as compensation for the forcible takeover of its store in Lang’ata by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

The retailer has said the church-linked group which paid a Sh330 million deposit out of a Sh2.8billion deal for the 20-acre Kasarani land in 2018 may impose penalties on the retailer if the deal collapses.

KDF has claimed a portion of the disputed land and settled on it. 

Uchumi now says it wants to sell the non-contested three acres of the parcel to the church group, pending approval from the Trade ministry led by Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina.

“Seventeen acres have now been occupied by KDF and only three acres are available for sale. The current purchaser has continued with the expressed interest of acquiring the three acres,  having paid a deposit of Sh330 million in January 2018 and a new sale agreement has already been signed for the 3 acres,” a letter addressed to the Trade ministry seen by Daily Nation read.

“Rescinding the sale agreement would potentially expose the company to further penalty charges and Directors to future liabilities,” it says. 

Uchumi has been struggling to recover, weighed down by multibillion-shilling shilling debt to creditors and suppliers.

High Court had stopped the planned sale and all pending debt recovery cases, outstanding loans, and rent claims against Uchumi, in favour of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

The will CVA will meet on May 30 where the retailer and 121 suppliers to review agreements on how to settle Sh4.2 billion owed to them and ensure the payments are made on time.

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