Judy Wairimu: How I lost Sh. 68 million at fallen Nakumatt

When Nakumatt chain of supermarkets went down, it is no secret that it went down and dragged many with it leaving a trail of losses behind. The tales of losses incurred by Nakumatt employees is not any lesser that the tales of suppliers who lost millions and one such individual is Judy Wairimu.

Judy was among hundreds of creditors who went to decide the fate of the once giant retailer at the dissolution meeting that was held at the Visa Oshwal Centre, Nairobi last in January 2020.

When the firm’s administrator called for a vote on whether or not to wind up the firm at 11.15 am,  Judy Wairimu left her seat and instead rested her tired frame on a pillar at the far corner of the building. Several minutes later, the verdict was out. At least 92.7 per cent of creditors had supported the administrator’s proposal to liquidate the firm. Wairimu started crying uncontrollably, her hopes to recover Sh. 68 million up in smoke, Judy narrated to The Star.

Judy had been supplying Nakumatt with onions for three years up to April 2017. Until then Judy had been relaying on loans from family and banks to ensure steady supply of onions to Nakumatt with hopes of getting her lump some payment. As the verdict was reached, Judy says that that was the darkest day in her life.

The journey of Judy Wairimu to recover her Ksh.68 million remains remains a story of the past leaving a big wound in her heart just like many other suppliers.

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Judy’s cry is upon the government and investigative agencies to go after Nakumatt directors, seize their properties and help creditors recover their money.

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Former Nakumatt chief executive officer Atul Shah walked out of the fallen Nakumatt wealthier than when he started some 40 years ago. He left behind sorrow among the people he did business with.

As many suppliers like Judy Wairimu swallow the bitter pill, banks that Atul Shah’s business owed billions money have traced 11 real estate properties worth an estimated Sh. 3.68 billion that are linked with him.


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