Retail giant Tusker Mattresses Limited trading under the name Tuskys has been put under watch by the Kenyan Government after suppliers complain to the government that they have not been paid their debts.
Last week, suppliers wrote to the Ministry of Industrialization and the competition authority to intervene and force Tuskys to pay up. In the letter, the manufacturers claim that some payments date back to early in the year further accusing the retailer of poor communication.
Fearing what befell, another retail giant Nakumatt, Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina broke her silence and revealed that Tuskys was 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. This matter was brought to our attention in April. It is something that 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,” said Ms. Maina.
In 2018, the once giant retailer in East Africa, Nakumatt, collapsed and entered into a voluntary administration to protect itself from creditors it owed over Sh32 billion. 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.
Tuskys had last week issued a statement apologizing to suppliers over delays that came with the restructured payment schedules on May 20th.
The CEO, Dan Githua said that the company would release payments scheduled in April and May towards June. This did not come to pass.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) says that ‘a sustainable-solution would be to ensure that there is a mandatory provision to ensure timely payments of supplies and repercussions in an event that the provisions are not honored. Such include interests on delayed payments and financial guarantees for goods taken on credit’.