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Field Day for Looters as Nakumatt’s Stock is Thrown on Streets

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Field Day for Looters as They Help Themselves on Nakumatt’s Nanyuki Branch Stock

 

By Allan Tawai

 

The fallen giant retail chain Nakumatt is in stitches again after its Nanyuki branch was closed on Tuesday and its stock thrown out of the premises over unpaid rent arrears.

It was a field day for bodaboda riders as they scrambled for the stock which was strewn all over the streets.  Police officers had to shoot in the air to scare away the looters.

Sources indicate that the chain was kicked out from the premise by the proprietor of Nanyuki Mall over rent arrears amounting to Sh36 million. According to an employee at the supermarket who sought anonymity, the proprietor of the mall, which has been housing the branch, arrived at the premises at about 3am and started throwing out the stocks.

“The Supermarket had accumulated unpaid rent ofSh36 Million prompting the owner of the mall to evict the retailer,” said the employee.

He added that over 52 employees had resigned in past few months due to salaries defaults while only 42 were in the payroll by the time of closure. According to the employee, the proprietor intends to rent the Mall to a Choppies Supermarket from South Africa which has other few branches in the country.

The eviction came two months after the supermarket closed down when the owner of the mall hired welders to permanently close the doors owing to rent arrears.

However the store’s management put a notice indicating that the closure was temporary and business operations at the shop would resume soon.

Some of the branch attendance quoted by local daily said they are not sure of what will happen to the branch. Their hopes is that the supermarket will soon restock following the closure of the TRM branch.

Even after the closure some employers were still reporting to work arguing that the business was closed by the landlord and not their employer.

Nanyuki branch is among many other branches closed down across the country due to a financial crisis that has hit the giant retail chain in East Africa.

Meanwhile Tusker Mattresses (Tuskys) plans to open 100 new branches in the next three years, up from the 64 stores in operation in both Kenya and Uganda.

Speaking during its first CEO Gala Dinner on Saturday held at a Nairobi hotel, Group CEO, Dan Githua said the firm’s growth strategy which will be anchored on partnerships, technology and innovation will cost the retailer at least Sh3 billion.

Githua said that the firm has titivated its corporate strategy to accelerate growth and will rely heavily on enhanced supplier partnerships, human resource development initiatives and extensive information technology adoption to guarantee a superior customer experience while cutting down operating costs including loss control.

“These partnerships will include joint investments in automated solutions with suppliers to cut shrinkage rates from five per cent to less than one per cent given that loss control is a key problem dogging the retail sector today,” said Githua. “We shall not be depressed by local or international competitor activity because we know we can do better as we maintain world-class standards.”

 

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The road less travelled

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According to a June 2020 study by Flone Initiative, women make up 10 per cent of the work force in the public transport industry in the country, 85 per cent of them being matatu conductors in Nairobi; it is no longer a male-dominated job. However,

“I used to ride the so-called nganyas to school every day, and being that I am a social and open-minded person, I would interact with the accomodating personnel and with time, I deeply fell in love with the unique culture that is the Kenyan matatu industry,” she tells PD Wikendi. A daughter of Italian parents who met and got married in Kenya, Lucia is thankful to have been born and bred in this country with an atypical public transport sector, which would become her biggest passion.

After completing high school, she joined Montessori College in Nairobi to pursue teaching, a course she did not complete, as what she desired was to work as a tout. However, she would again proceed to pursue a certificate in pharmacy, which is her mother’s profession. In 2015, Lucia ditched her pharmacy career and decided to follow her heart, becoming a full-time makanga in Kitengela, a route she says she felt comfortable in, being that she was serving people she grew up around.

Lucia recalls how at first, residents of Kitengela, seeing a mzungu on the matatu door calling on passengers to board, were certain it was a prank. “In my first days, people were dumbfounded, wondering if it was a stunt. They even became reluctant to board the vehicle, as they thought that maybe there was a hidden camera somewhere recording the ‘prank’. No one believed a mlami could take this job, but, eventually, they realised it was for real and got used to it,” she recounts.

The venture was fraught with challenges for her; not only was she a woman in a rough man’s world, but also a ‘foreigner’. “Some commuters felt they could get aggressive towards me, for example when disgruntled by what they found to be high fares. Dealing with a rude passenger who does not want to cooperate and respect my hustle is still among my worst moments while in the line of duty. Some passengers like to show that they are allknowing. Again, there were instances where people thought I don’t understand Swahili or sheng, which I speak fluently, so they would throw jabs at me, but I never let it get to me. If you are a strong woman who respects herself and you understand that this is a job like any other, there is no situation that would be too difficult to manoeuvre. Women are many in the industry these days, and people now take it as a normal thing,” adds Lucia, who currently works in Crisis of Wamasaa Sacco.

PANDEMIC STRUGGLE
At the moment, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has really hamstrung their work, is

it is still unusual to meet a woman nganya crewmember. It is even rarer to meet one from a different race. But, the well known Lucia Alessandra Murotto, a Caucasian woman conductor, never saw these as barriers to stop her from following her passion. Walking along Nairobi’s Railways bus terminus, where Kitengela matatus are stationed, you will likely meet the 29-year-old shouting herself hoarse calling for passengers, a job she has now served in for over five years.

Growing up in Kitengela, Kajiado county, Lucia, famously known as Mlami by the area residents owing to her Italian origin, never prayed for something bigger in her future than serving in the matatu industry. Her desire to join the sector grew while she was still in high school, when the single mother of one used to commute daily to school, boarding the renowned decorated matatus of the vibrant route 110 Kitee, and got to interact with the friendly crews.

FALLING IN LOVE

the biggest issue that, like others in the sector, she’s dealing with on the job. “We are only carrying 60 per cent of the bus capacity, so, hitting the profit target becomes an uphill task. To cope, investors have sadly been forced to send some crewmembers home, and we’ve also had to raise fares so as to at least remain afloat,” she explains.

Challenges aside, what Lucia loves the most about her job is how the crews she works with are humble and understanding. “We live like one big family, sticking by each other through thick and thin. We are always there for one another, be it during funerals, weddings, when one of our colleagues gets a child, even birthdays, we come together and offer support,” she beams.

When not filling matatus with passengers and collecting fares, the last-born in a family of two daughters helps her mum out at her pharmacy in Kisaju. Meanwhile, the nganya culture enthusiasm has rubbed of on her nine-year-old son, who she says knows almost all the Kitengela hot mats by name.

For now, it appears Lucia is in it for the long haul. “I have been dreaming of investing in the matatu industry since I was 16. I would love to take my matatu to Kitengela, Rongai or even Eastleigh, since I have worked on the three routes and I know their ins and outs, ” she concludes.

By PD.co.ke

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Business

Our Thrilling Two Hours Tour at Victory Gardens Phase 3, 4 & 5 on the 18th of September 2020

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It was a very electrifying afternoon as we mentored our social media followers on how to build positive and remarkable relationships.

We touched on various life issues including how to laugh with a confident and deliberate abandonment, how to build extraordinarily positive relationships in families, workplaces, with God and in our social lives.

We also spared a cool 30 minutes to point at plot beacons for our customers, showing them how trees at this gated community are flourishing plus showing customers how Optiven has done the drainages.

Oh! We even had great fun crawling through one of the drainage culvert, which easily accommodated Optiven Team Leader as he easily crept to the other end. You can catch up with the Facebook Live here: (https://web.facebook.com/watch/?v=776150606288508&extid=GOZRywQJbqSrzSDM)

You can also catch up with the entire episode on You Tube right here: https://youtu.be/apZ14dvBg_g

What’s more, we prayed and prophesied for more customers to start building their dream homes in this gated community; to live victorious, joyfully and peacefully, in this extraordinary project that is located at the heart on Kitengela in Nairobi Metropolis.

If you want to join this remarkable and amazing project or to refer someone, just get in touch with us today. (Every person who refers someone will be mentioned on our next show)

*Call us now on: 0790 300 300 or 0723 400 500
Visit our website:* www.optiven.co.ke

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Business

Shekinah Gardens Gets Surprise Bonus Value Additions

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Optiven Engineers have now camped at Shekinah Gardens to start the fencing of the entire property (concrete poles & wire mesh). The concrete poles will be painted green as a sign of customer’s prosperity.

What’s more, Optiven has entered into a contract with Weberworks to do the construction of a 15 meters tall water tower that will be holding 40, 000 liters at a go.

This additional Value Additions will allow customers to experience Value for their properties as it was not part of the initial promise, but as an additional token of love to our Shekinah Gardens customers.

In addition, the roads will be spruced up to make this project the very best in Kajiado Township.

The project is located only 1 Mile from Kajiado Town and less than 0.5 m from the Highway

If you want to join the Shekinah family 👪

Call us on: 0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

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