Ex Uchumi CEO Ciano deposits Sh9.5m as he fights CMA case

Former Uchumi Supermarkets chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano has entered into an agreement with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to deposit half of the fine imposed on him.

Mr Ciano has deposited Sh9.5 million of the Sh18.5 million the CMA is seeking to recover from him as payments made during his tenure at Uchumi.

In November, the CMA accused Mr Ciano along with five other directors with mismanaging the firm leading to its near collapse.

The regulator imposed a Sh5 million fine on Mr Ciano and is also seeking to recover Sh13.5 million from him as profit from illegally supplying Uchumi with goods.

Once hailed as the turnaround king for the country’s oldest retailer, Mr Ciano was caught in a conflict of interest scam with his wife serving as one of the major vegetable suppliers for Uchumi.

The former CEO together with his co accused moved to court in December to challenge the CMA order.

The move to enter into a consent agreement with the CMA is seen as an act of good faith pending the determination of the case.

In the consent that was entered by the parties before Justice Roselyn Aburili, was further offered to deposit the same within 14 days failure to which CMA will be at liberty to take action.

“We’ve agreed that there be a stay of enforcement of the penalties levied against the applicant by the respondent on the sum of Sh18.5 million pending the hearing and determination of the case” the court heard on Tuesday.

The matter will be mentioned on the 26th of this month at the Anti-corruption and Economic court.

Apart from the fine, the capital markets regulator banned Mr Ciano from holding any director position in a publicly listed firm.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in October 2016 directed that all those found responsible for the decline of Uchumi to be held to account.

Uchumi is seeking a Sh2 billion bailout from the government.

Through the supplementary budget, the National Treasury allocated Uchumi Sh500 million.