The path to recovery of the embattled Nakumatt Supermarket has taken a new twist, with the court’s appointed administrator Peter Kadhi accusing the CEO Atul Shah of writing off suppliers’ stock worth Ksh18 billion, without following the due procedure.
Addressing the Senate Tourism Trade and Industrialisation committee which is investigating the slow death of what was Kenya’s biggest retail chain, Kadhi said that the stock could have been sold and the funds pocketed before the retailer fell into financial distress.
Mr Kahi told the Senate that around May 2017, Nakumatt wrote off stocks worth Ksh18 billion on grounds that there were stocks in the system that were actually not on the retail chain’s shelves.
“It means that the books were massaged a long time ago. It means there was cooking of books. I am looking for money to hire a forensic investigator to tell us where the money is.We are told some money may have been siphoned out of the country. This is a lot of money that disappeared from the company’s books,” said Kadhi.
Kadhi said that the forensic audit will cost about Ksh15 million.
Nakumatt’s former management has said the discrepancy was the result of massive “theft, pilferage, stock shrinkage and losses arising from stock obsolescence, a response Mr Kahi says is “unsatisfactory.”
He said Nakumatt’s debt current stands at Sh40 billion, an amount he said can be fully settled in seven to eight years if a restructuring plan he has presented to creditors is adopted.
“With seven branches currently, I can’t see how I will manage to pay Sh40 billion. If given time with this new structure, we can sort out challenges facing the firm and bring up Nakumatt.
Kadhi requested for Ksh2 billion to revive Nakumatt
“If the government gives me Sh2 billion, I can revive Nakumatt within a very short time,” he said.
He said Nakumatt as at January had 29 branches but has since been closed to seven cutting down the number of employees from 6,700 to 770 currently.
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