Nakumatt forcibly evicted from its Nanyuki premises

Nakumatt's goods are pictured strewn on the street in Nanyuki town on January 2, 2018. PHOTO | Mwangi Ndirangu | NMG
Nakumatt's goods are pictured strewn on the street in Nanyuki town on January 2, 2018. PHOTO | Mwangi Ndirangu | NMG 

Nakumatt's woes deepened Tuesday as the retailer was thrown out of its branch at Nanyuki Mall over non-payment of rent.

In a dramatic scene, its goods were thrown out of the building as the landlord is said to be paving way for a new supermarket.

Some of the goods were stolen by locals before police officers arrived and fired in the air to scare away looters.

A police officer at the scene said they had not been notified of the impending eviction despite the proprietor of the building having obtained a court order to evict the client over rent arrears amounting to tens of millions of shillings.

The goods, which were scattered outside the compound, were carted off to a store two kilometres away.

It was not immediately clear whether they would be auctioned.

Nakumatt had closed its doors in Nanyuki in November last year with a notice pinned at the supermarket's entrance indicating that the closure was temporary.

The outlet had about 42 staff at the time of closure, while over 50 others had resigned in the course of the year due to salary delays and non-payment.

It has operated in Nanyuki for seven years and started with 92 workers before they were reduced.

“Now that the supermarket has closed down, we are not sure whether we shall ever be paid our outstanding six months salaries. We are appealing for the government to come to our aide,” said a former employee who only identified himself as Harun.

Other closures

The supermarket chain was recently ousted from its branches at the Lifestyle Mall in the city centre, the Garden City Mall and the Junction Mall among others across the country.

It has also been evicted from its branch in Moshi, Tanzania in December and closed its Dar es Salaam branch in October last year while some of its Uganda outlets have suffered a similar fate.

Rwanda is so far the only market seemingly immune from the current financial meltdown, with Nakumatt being named best taxpayer in the country.