Government rules out bailout for Uchumi Supermarkets

The government has ruled out another financial bailout for Uchumi Supermarkets throwing recovery efforts of the troubled retailer in jeopardy.

Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo says the government will form a team to draft a comprehensive recovery plan before more funds can be injected into the retailer that is reeling under a huge debt stock running into billions of shillings.

Dr. Kiptoo spoke during the launch of the second edition of the Kenya Trade Week that runs end of this month.

Despite more than 3 billion shillings in bailout cash, the country’s oldest retailer is still weighed down by financial problems which have hampered its turnaround process.

The retailer that received 1.8 billion shillings from the National Treasury has been facing difficulties paying workers, creditors and suppliers.

Early this year, Uchumi said that it has used part of the 1.8 billion shillings bailout funds in restocking outlets and clearing some debts, but still faces cash-flow challenges.

The retailer which posted a full year net loss of 1.7 billion loss says that it has not firmed up a deal with a strategic partner.

The PS says Kenya is working on a plan that will double the country’s export basket in the next five years.

The Export Promotion Council says it’s targeting the Asian, American and the Australian markets in order to broaden Kenya’s export base.

Kenya is also working on setting the export import bank, embedding Kenya’s trade policy with the East African Community and operationalizing the export strategy among other measures to strengthen export.



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