Uchumi properties auctioned over Shs193m rent arrears

Court bailiffs auction items in front of former Uchumi Supermarket, Gulu Branch on Monday December 14 2015. Photo BY JULIUS OCUNGI

What you need to know:

The retailer closed all outlets in the country leaving more than 400 jobless.

GULU. Court bailiffs have started auctioning some of the properties belonging to Uchumi Supermarket, Gulu Branch in a bid to recover Shs193.4 million owed in rent arrears.

The retailer, that has since closed down its outlets in the country, had not paid Mr Donald Lukwiya, a land lord, where it had been operating from.

Mr Lukwiya, through his lawyer Odongo & Co Advocates, in October secured a warrant of attachment for the properties following unceremonious closure of Uchumi Supermarket.

The court order issued by the Gulu High Court Chief Magistrate Deogratius Ssejemba, gave a go ahead to Select Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs to auction the properties after a period of two weeks if Uchumi fails to pay the arrears.
On Monday, the court bailiffs accompanied by police began selling the properties to interested clients to recover their clients’ money.

According to Mr Kwirino Ovongiwu, one of the court bailiffs told Daily Monitor the auctioning was being done legally.
“We secured court orders that gave us a go ahead to advertise for the properties. We did the advertisement but Uchumi management didn’t show up for the payment. Today (Monday) we decided to start auctioning the properties to recover our clients’ money,” Mr Ovongiwu said.

Mr Lukwiya said since Uchumi has breached a contract on house rent, it is supposed to pay for six months in lieu as per their contract agreement.

“We had a contract that Uchumi management signed to rent my house for 10 years, we had also agreed that once either party breaches contract, he/she will be liable to pay in lieu for six months, I am therefore demanding Shs208 million,” he said.

He also revealed that the supermarket management had failed to clear up electricity bills worth Shs27 million while he incurred expenses and damages worth Shs37m.

In the same month, Uchumi decided to close its outlets in the country.
More than 400 Ugandans lost their jobs as a result of the closure.
They have since taken the retailer to court seeking terminal benefits.


The amount of money the landlord wants from Uchumi for breach of contract