Tuskys managers arrested over Sh1.6b fraud claims

Two Tuskys limited managers, George Gachwe and Stephen Mukuha, were on Saturday arrested by anti-fraud detectives over allegations of fraud at the supermarket chain.

According to Mr Gicoki, who is the investigating officer stationed at Muthaiga Police Station, the two will be arraigned in court on Monday to answer to fraud charges.

The two were arrested following a protracted battle with another faction of directors led by Yusuf Mugweru who claim they have swindled the company of close to Sh1.6 billion through insider training.

The incident comes barely two months after the public ouster of the company’s former CEO.

In February this year, former Tuskys Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mwangi Githua was thrown out of the headquarter offices on Mombasa road by a group that appeared to be the grandchildren of the company’s founder, Joram Kamau.

The group calling itself the 3rd generation was accusing the CEO of defying a termination letter issued to him on January 23, 2015 and signed by four directors.

“We the Board of Directors of Tusker Mattresses LTD have terminated your services as the CEO of our company with immediate effect,” reads part of the letter seen by Royal Media Services but could not be independently verified.

Part of the reasons cited for his termination included conflict of interest, lack of respect towards stakeholders and directors as well as poor performance of the company.

They accused him of running outsourcing firms Artemis Africa Ltd and Artemis Sourcing Ltd, which they claim he used to exploit the company, with Artemis Africa Ltd being used to supply labour force to the company.

Following his ouster, the board of the company, led by Chairman John Kago, denounced the actions of the 3rd Generation, saying they acted on their own volition.

Shortly after the incident, the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) suspended its supply chain financing facility with Tuskys.

“In view of the above, we have suspended the Supply Chain Financing facility until we receive your formal response clarifying the above matter,” reads a letter written to Tuskys directors.

The arrests have laid bare the infighting and power struggles in the supermarket chain that was founded in 1990 in Rongai Town by Joram Kamau.

Tuskys has over the years grown to be the second largest retailer in the country after Nakumatt with 52 branches in Kenya and Uganda. Until 2007, the retailer went by the banner Tusker Mattresses Limited.

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