KENYA – Cash-strapped Kenyan retailer Tuskys Supermarket has tapped former Uchumi Chief Financial Officer Chadwick Omondi Okumu for its top finance job as part of turnaround efforts.

According to reports by Citizen Kenya, Okumu fills the position left by Daniel Ndirangu who resigned in December 2019 and has since been operated with an acting CFO.

Okumu will be tasked with lifting Tuskys from the edge of the abyss following the onset cash-crunch crisis exposed by supplier non-payments earlier this year.

“We introduce Mr Chadwick Okumu who is joining us as chief finance officer. Mr Chadwick has 16 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles in diverse industries.”

Tuskys Chief Executive Officer – Dan Githua

The family-owned retailer is sitting on pins and needles with debt running into billions which has seen it risk expulsion of tenancy, auctioning, lack of supplies and staged protests by employees.

The new financial controller has extensive retail experience having worked with Uchumi as its Head of Finance for eight years.

He has also previously served in various finance capacities at Reckitt Benchiser and Keroche Breweries.

“We introduce Mr Chadwick Okumu who is joining us as chief finance officer. Mr Chadwick has 16 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles in diverse industries,” Tuskys’ Chief Executive Officer Dan Githua wrote in a memo to staff.

Chadwick Okumu holds a Bachelor of commerce in Accounting and is presently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration (Finance).

Recently it announced it has received the first capital injection amounting to Ksh. 500 million (US$4.6m) from Ksh. 2 billion (US$18.4m) credit facility from an undisclosed Mauritius based fund, to help shore up its wobbling financial position.

Uchumi opens online portal to verify old debts

Meanwhile, Uchumi Supermarkets has opened an online portal for trade and services creditors to register their debts as part of the retailer’s implementation of the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which has already received approval from the High Court.

According to the firm, the debt to be cleared will be those incurred before 2nd March 2020.

“The CVA which was approved by the High Court directs that we verify all old debts through a transparent and sustainable process and we are asking all suppliers to register their debts within the next three weeks,” said Uchumi Supermarkets CEO Mohamed Mohamed.

According to the CEO, the exact amount of supplier debt will be known once the verification process is completed.

As of July 2020, Uchumi owes an estimated Sh4. 7 billion in debt to over 100 suppliers.

Uchumi says it will be using the agreement as its blueprint to return to profitability.

The agreement provides a proposed review of the restructuring of the current debt as well as the strategic overview of the business operations of the retail chain that has been undertaken by the Board and Management of Uchumi Plc and other experienced consultants.

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