Cash strapped Uchumi Supermarket is now blaming rogue employees and suppliers for its fall.
According to court submissions by the retailer, employees colluded with fraudulent suppliers to fleece the Supermarket through fake claims.
“As a result of the audit (by KPMG), it was discovered that a large quantity of goods from various suppliers were neither ordered for and or delivered at our stores and thus became necessary to ascertain what goods were ordered and supplied by Smart Brands whilst simultaneously verifying the Local Purchase Orders,” Uchumi said in its submissions.
Uchumi turned against Smart Brands, one of the firms seeking Uchumi’s liquidation over Ksh16 million, saying that the claim could have been as a result of book-cooking.
The retailer had admitted to owing Smart Brands the debt after the 2016 suit, but recanted the admission after the said audit.
The debt dates back to 2011, according to suit files by Smart Brands.
“The proposed defence raises triable issues worthy of consideration by the court and the application by Smart Brands should be stopped until our defence and supporting documents are filed,” submitted the retailer.
Uchumi owes creditors and suppliers at least Ksh3.6 billion, and a liquidation motion was filed in court in September 2018 by Githunguri Dairy Cooperative Society which is seeking to recover Ksh44.8 million owed by the retailer.
Other creditors Uchumi owes include UBA (Ksh172 million), Uchumi Staff Provident Fund Trustees (Ksh122.7 million), New KCC (Ksh89 million), Chandaria Industries (Ksh68.7), Euromart (Ksh67.5), Colgate (Ksh45.5 million), Taroni Holdings (Ksh45.1), Securitas Ltd (Ksh39.9 million) and Interconsumer Products (Ksh38.2 million).
Uchumi also owes Tropikal Brands Afrika Ksh35 million, Manji Food Industries Ksh18.6 million, Kapa oil Refineries Ksh15.3 million, Equitorial Nut Processors Ksh21.3 million, Leading Locks Ksh12.8 million, L’oreal EA Ksh9.6 million, Insyc Solutions Ksh8.4 million, Professional Marketing Services Ksh4 million, Honey Care Ksh2.8 million and Connect IT Ltd Ksh1.4 million.