The ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has agreed to intervene to help former staff of Nakumatt supermarket to access records of their savings and credit cooperatives (Sacco) locked up by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in one of the Nakumatt supermarket stores.
This follows a meeting convened by the commissioner for cooperatives development, Gordon Byakatonda on Saturday at the ministry of Trade involving the former Nakumatt supermarket staff and their Sacco leaders. The former staff petitioned the ministry on Tuesday last week to intervene and help them recover their savings.
They asked the ministry to summon the Sacco board and supervisory committee members to explain what happened to their savings worth over Shs 500 million that was deducted from their salaries.
The Sacco board is chaired by Vincent Kimuya, the Nakumatt Oasis Mall branch manager while the four member supervisory committee is chaired by Fred Muzungu, the procurement officer at Nakumatt Oasis Mall.
The petitioners claim that Nakumatt Uganda Limited registered a savings and credit society in 2009.
The company would deduct a certain amount from each of the employees every month for savings.
However, for the last three months, the employees haven’t received any information regarding the status of their savings.
During the meeting, the supervisory committee chairman, Fred Muzungu revealed that the Sacco files were locked up by URA in the supermarket store located in Kitetika, along Gayaza road.
URA closed three Nakumatt stores after the troubled supermarket failed to clear tax arrears amounting to Shs 300 million. The other two closed shopping centers are Oasis Mall and Bukoto Nakumatt branches.
The meeting resolved that the Sacco supervisory committee writes to URA through the Ministry of Trade seeking assistance to access the Sacco records so that they give former staff update on the status of their savings.
Muzungu declined to comment on the matter when reached by our reporter, saying he was busy. Gordon Byakatonda, the commissioner for cooperatives was also tight-lipped on the matter.
“We are handling the matter,” he said. Adding that, “I am not the ministry spokesperson. You know who to contact for more information.”
Vincent Kimuya, the Nakumatt SACCO board chairman, earlier told this publication Nakumatt had met financial difficulties but the company owner has committed that he “will not run away with anyone’s money.”
The ailing East Africa retail outlet is on the brink of collapse. Nakumatt is owned by the Kenyan Atul Shah family.
Nakumatt has so far closed five branches in Uganda including; Acacia Mall in Kololo, Village Mall in Bugolobi, Victoria Mall in Entebbe, Katwe Branch and Mbarara branch while the remaining branches have been closed by URA over tax arrears.