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State wants to join Nakumatt creditors list for tax millions

A branch of Nakumatt supermarket. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A branch of Nakumatt supermarket. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government will seek to join the list of troubled Nakumatt Holdings’ creditors claiming millions of shillings it is owed in unpaid taxes, Trade and Industry secretary Adan Mohamed has said.

The CS on Wednesday said the government supports the retailer’s proposal to appoint an administrator to oversee efforts to stabilise its operations.

The move is likely to put the government on a collision course with a section of creditors who on Tuesday opposed Nakumatt’s proposal to appoint an administrator under section 532(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 2015.

The creditors want the debt-laden retail chain liquidated instead, a route Mr Mohamed said the government does not support.

“We will continue to support that (revival) process as opposed to other options which will kill it (Nakumatt),” the CS said.

“We will be on the table as one of the creditors and will play our active role to making sure that the survival programme for this process is going to go forward. We hope that the administrator will be independent which is what the law envisages.”

If High Court judge Joseph Onguto rules in favour of Nakumatt’s application for the appointment of PKF’s Peter Obondo Kahi as the retail chain’s administrator, creditors will lose right to attach the retailer’s property to recover their dues.

The court on Tuesday gave all 90 creditors in the insolvency petition four days to file responses to Nakumatt’s application.

Mr Mohamed said the proposal for an administrator will give Nakumatt an opportunity to restructure its operations.

The government, the CS added, will however not stand in the way of ongoing takeover talks between Nakumatt and rival Tuskys, saying it prefers that it runs “its natural course.”

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