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Tuskys recalls CEO after two months suspension

Tuskys Supermarkets chief executive Dan Githua. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Tuskys Supermarkets chief executive Dan Githua. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Tuskys Supermarkets has reinstated Dan Githua as its chief executive officer, two months after he was ejected from office by grandchildren of the retail chain’s founder over alleged mismanagement.

Mr Githua quietly took back the helm of Kenya’s second-largest retailer on Wednesday last week.

Tony Kago, Tuskys’ chairman, said the company’s board of directors investigated Mr Githua and established that the accusations levelled against him were not true.

“I can confirm that Mr Githua is back as the chief executive as from sometime last week,” Mr Kago said in an interview.

“He had not been sacked. He had simply been sent on compulsory leave to allow for investigations into his conduct.”

Tuskys’ third generation heirs accused Mr Githua of hiding the fact that he was the majority owner of Artemis Outsourcing, a company that recruits the retail chain’s employees.

The besieged chief executive, however, says he wound up his company Artemis Africa in full knowledge of the Tuskys board and that it was revived as Artemis Outsourcing by new owners.

Artemis Outsourcing, which controls a quarter of Tuskys’ 6,000 staff, is now majority-owned by James Ouma, the CEO of Speed Capital, a microfinance institution that Mr Githua founded seven years ago and still co-owns.

“Upon doing our investigations, the Tuskys board of directors concluded that Mr Githua had done nothing wrong. The board therefore asked him to come back to work last week,” said Mr Kago.

Aside from the conflict of interest allegation, some Tuskys owners and their children also accused Mr Githua of sidelining them from the day-to-day operations of the company and in effect worsening its financial position.

Mr Githua was, for instance, faulted for allegedly running the newly-created Joram Kamau Tuskys Foundation without involving directors of the family-owned retail firm.

He was also cited for poor performance as well as exuding “disrespect and arrogance” towards its owners and staff.

Some of the directors’ children also reckoned that their parents had failed to stamp their authority on the company and were as such letting an outsider mismanage their inheritance hence their dramatic intervention.

The infighting caused KCB, one of its bankers, to suspend a multi-million shilling credit line which allowed Tuskys suppliers to receive payment for goods supplies even before their invoices fall due and also receive loans at preferential rates.

KCB has since restored the credit facility, offering respite for over 1,600 SME suppliers who deliver goods worth between Sh500,000 to Sh5 million every month.

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