Seventeen branches of the Kenyan supermarket chain Uchumi have closed due to bankruptcy leaving 1,200 people jobless and hundreds of millions of shillings worth of debt. Making the announcement on 1 June company chief executive John Masterten-Sith said Uchumi had decided to cut its losses after earlier attempts to streamline activities including closing branches in other parts of the country had failed. The company had been in difficulty since embarking on an ambitious expansion programme in 2001.
In Nairobi the Sarit Centre, Langata, Mombasa Road, Ngong Road, City Square, Adams Arcade, Jogoo Road, Nairobi West, Parklands, Westlands, Koinange Street, Kimathi Street and Buru Buru branches have all closed while a further five Railway Station, Market, Taveta Road, Temple Road and Kahawa Wendani have been franchised. Outlets in Eldoret, Karatina, Nakuru East and Meru have also shut.