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Kenya puts Tuskys on watch list

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The Kenyan government is closely monitoring Tuskys Supermarket, which is slowly sliding into financial trouble after failing to pay suppliers.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, told The EastAfrican that the retailer, which is operated by Tusker Mattresses Ltd is now on the ministry’s watch list for failing to meet its contractual obligations with suppliers.

“The ministry has received the report and has been engaging with both the retailer and the suppliers and monitoring the situation closely,” said Ms Maina. “This matter was brought to our attention in April. It is something which we are monitoring and engaging closely with Tuskys. Nobody wants to see businesses go under. The measures which have been put in place by both parties are being monitored by the ministry and reviewed on a weekly basis,” she added.

The government said early intervention in the retailer’s precarious situation will avert the collapse of the supermarket, which employs almost 6,000 workers and operates over 63 branches in Kenya and Uganda. “We have intervened early enough but it requires the participation and co-operation of both parties,” said Ms Maina.

In 2018, the once giant retailer in the region, Nakumatt, collapsed and entered into a voluntary administration to protect itself from creditors it owed over $300 million.

And in January this year, creditors voted to liquidate the retailer, driving the final nail in the firm’s coffin. Another regional retailer, Uchumi Supermarkets, is in deathbed after failing to pay off creditors, among them suppliers, banks and workers.

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