UGANDA – The beleaguered Uchumi Supermarket (U) Limited is facing more trouble after Ahmed Raza Foods Industries (U) Limited successfully secured a court order Friday morning to attach its property before judgment.
Kassam Aiyub Kaka, the general manager of Raza Foods through lawyers Verma Jivram and associates allege that he supplied flour and biscuits worth Sh87m and has been demanding the monies since July this year but the supermarket that closed has refused to pay him.
“I learnt about the closure of the supermarket Wednesday through the press and that is why I moved fast with my lawyers to recover my money and luckily court has granted us the court order,” said Kaka.
Raymond Nyangambaki, the associate partner of Verma Jivram and associates who secured the court order said that they had to get the document in a bid to recover their client’s money because the proprietors of the embattled supermarket are not Ugandans and the Ugandan law cannot be applicable to them when they leave the country.
“We have successfully got the court order because the Ugandan law cannot apply outside the Ugandan borderline and yet the proprietors of the Supermarket are not Ugandans,” explained Ndyagambaki.
Over the past few years, Uchumi has been closing most of its branches and early this week, its inaugural and main branch at Garden City was closed on court orders over outstanding monies totaling to over sh185m it owed Ugachik Uganda Limited. Uchumi, a Kenyan retailer has closed doors in Uganda and Tanzania to concentrate on its home market.
Julius Kipng’etich, the retailer’s chief executive told press in Nairobi that the company’s board decided to close down units in both countries in order to speed up the process of stabilizing its Kenyan operations.
“Our outlets in Uganda and Tanzania make up only 4.75 per cent of our operations yet they account for over 25 per cent of our operating costs. The two subsidiaries have not made any profits over the last five years, which means they have been draining the parent operations,” said Kipng’etich.
Just after Raza Foods had received its court order, Hema beverages (U) Limited was making its way at the court seeking a court order too to allegedly recover its monies amounting to over sh94m for supplying the supermarket water for close to a year.