Home » Wealthy Mukuha family of Kenya in bitter feud over stake in Naivas supermarket chain

Wealthy Mukuha family of Kenya in bitter feud over stake in Naivas supermarket chain

by Mfonobong Nsehe

Kenyan businessman Newton Kagiri Mukuha has disclosed that despite the ongoing court action concerning stakes and control of Naivas Supermarket, his siblings may have secretly sold off shares in the Kenya-based supermarket chain.

Naivas Supermarket is Kenya’s largest supermarket chain. It is based in Nairobi and was founded by the late Kenyan businessman Peter Mukuha Kago in 1990.

The retailer owns and operates more than 74 outlets as of Nov. 2021 across leading urban centers in the East African country under the leadership of the multimillionaire Mukuha family.

The Mukuha family has been at loggerheads over the ownership and control of Naivas since the passing of their patriarch in 2010.

The fresh accusation by Newton Kagiri Mukuha comes after media reported in 2020 that a substantial stake in the company was sold to institutional investors, including the French equity firm Amethis Finance and the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank.

According to recent reports, the businessman, who is the eldest of three brothers fighting in court over control of the supermarket chain, revealed in a new application to the Milimani High Court that his younger brothers may have secretly sold off stakes in the Kenya-based retailer.

He also launched a court action to stop his younger brothers from interfering with Naivas’ ownership structure until the chain’s protracted legal battle for control is determined. 

“In spite of the fact that there is pending litigation with respect to the suit herein, Newton Kagiri Mukuha has reason to believe that there has been a change of circumstances whereupon Simon Gashwe Mukuha and David Kimani Mukuha have sold shares to third parties or in some way adversely dealt in the shares and property of Naivas,” Newton Mukuha said in a statement.

His siblings, Simon Gashwe Mukuha and David Kimani Mukuha, maintained that their elder brother’s application attempts to manipulate the legal process, as his allegations are the same as those in two other applications, which are pending a ruling on June 24.

Consequently, they called on the High Court to suspend the hearing of the case, as a separate case is under way in the Milimani High Court and a succession battle is also ongoing before the Nakuru High Court, in which similar issues have been raised and are pending their own rulings.

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