Nakumatt workers want government intervention over their savings

Employees of the defunct Nakumatt supermarket have petitioned the Trade Minister, Ms Amelia Kyambadde to intervene in their plight of recovering their money from a Savings and Cooperative Society (SACCO).

The SACCO, which was an in house saving cooperative owes the employees amount to the tune of Shs500m, which they now want back.

In a petition presented to Ms Kyambadde, the employees want the minister to summon their bosses to explain the whereabouts of their savings and give them a way forward.

"As you are aware that Nakumatt Uganda Limited, a company which was employing over 600 employees since 2009, registered a saving and credit organisation and almost all the employees joined this SACCO where monthly savings, welfare, shares and loan repayments were being remitted into its treasury by check off system," the petition reads in part.

"Apparently, the mother organisation which was trading as a supermarket is in its closing stages due to lack of operation finance…the SACCO was being administered by a committee comprising of mainly Kenyan managers whose future stay in Uganda is on probability and our funds as members are at great risk and efforts to recover them almost impossible," the statement continues.

However, the SACCO board chairman, Mr Vincent Kimuya says he has not seen the petition.

“I have not seen any petition from them and therefore I have no comment,” he said.

Mr Kimuya also refuted claims that the SACCO owes employees more than Shs500m.

“Its not true, we owe them money but not that much, its not even half what they have indicated,” he added.

Nakumatt has so far closed five branches in Uganda including; Acacia Mall in Kololo, Village Mall in Bugolobi, Oasis mall in Kampala, Victoria Mall in Entebbe, Katwe Branch and Mbarara Branch. The remaining branches are also on the brink of closure. It has been the same case in Kenya where the company has also shut down a number of branches.

The company has been sued by a number of suppliers and landlords over unpaid arrears. For instance, the State Minister for Veteran Affairs, Bright Rwamirama and wife Florence Rwamirama, together with Mpororo Group sued Nakumatt demanding payment of over Shs 2 billion in rent arrears. Nakumatt Mbarara branch was housed in a four storied building owned by Rwamirama.

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