Muhindi Mweusi: We lost Sh15m in maandamano raid
Inside Muhindi Mweusi Supermarket Tassia branch business continues as usual.
The only evidence of the chaos that took place on Monday following Azimio protests are rows of empty shelves.
Bernard Onyango, the branch manager, has a bandage on his left arm an injury he got when members of the public broke into the supermarket and started looting foodstuff and other products.
When the looters left, the owners were left with a Sh15 million hole in their financial books.
Last Monday, the supermarket had opened its doors as usual and everything went on as usual until around 9am when chaos erupted.
“We opened shop as normal and we sold some products until around 9am when the chaos began. There were running battles between members of the public and police officers. We closed immediately,” Mr Onyango recalled.
The battle between the police and members of the public went on for the better part of the day.
The management then decided to release its staff at 6pm. That is when the looting started.
“They started by taking the gas cylinders outside the supermarket; 13kg and 6kg gas cylinders were around 40 and 50 cylinders respectively,” he said.
The looters then started hitting the supermarket door with large stones to break the locks.
CCTV footage shows how the looters broke the locks and stole money left inside the cashier drawers, foodstuff, TV sets and mattresses.
“I live nearby and I saw when a crowd started forming outside the supermarket. We had all left and closed the doors. I left my house and went back and pretended to be one of them. When they broke the door I went in with everyone else who was rushing to take whatever they can. I rushed to the customer care desk to sound the security alarm. That is when one of them saw me and hit me with a stone on my arm,” Mr Onyango explained.
Police later arrived at the scene and restored order. But the drama did not end there, the following day there was another crowd at the supermarket.
This crowd was not rowdy but a peaceful one. It was members of the public returning some of the stolen items, this was no ordinary scene, atleast according to some of the witnesses.
If you have been active online then you would probably have come across comments made by a section of Kenyans online on the supermarket’s reputation.
It is widely claimed that no one has been able to steal from Muhindi Mweusi and live a normal life. In fact word has it that when a similar incident happened to the Mukuru kwa Njenga branch some of the thieves who refused to return the stolen items went mad.
“Those are just stories. Right now we are done with book taking and we have registered a Sh15 million loss. The things that were returned were just a few empty gas cylinders. Nothing else has been returned,” said Simon Thuo Muhindi Mweusi assistant director.
The supermarket is one of the few businesses that were affected by demonstrations that took place in Nairobi and different parts of the country on Monday.
With Azimio la Umoja leaders planning more anti-government protests every Monday and Thursday, beginning next week, more businesses risk incurring similar losses.