Kenya's Enron

A few weeks ago, Uchumi, Kenya's second-largest supermarket chain, shut its doors. There were a number of factors why. Mainly, they were billions of Kenya shillings in debt and saw no way out of that tunnel. Bad decisions on the part of high-level management were the reason.

Many were outraged - particularly those who lost their jobs. My outrage (trivial in comparison) was that lines at our local supermarket are now longer than ever. (That chain, Nakumatt, certainly is triumphant in the situation. Curiously I saw no reflection of this in the many newspaper articles I read about it.)

The main difference between Enron and Uchumi is that Enron's demise was because men at the top willfully did bad things. Uchumi's top guys may have done their harm with a bit less awareness of the depth of their

So yes, it was yet another case of a few being selfish in their decision-making and affecting an entire country.

Once again, I created the picture via


The Pocknalls said…
What does Uchumi mean?
Chris said…
And the benefit of having someone in Africa again is with me. Here I am discussing the convenience of having either Stop & Shop or Amazon deliver food to my door without me lifting a finger, and you have to contend with super long lines just to buy food.

Your website is invaluable to me in this way. It reminds me to be more humble and grateful.
Nairobi Paul said…
"Uchumi" is the name of the formerly second largest supermarket chain here. I'm not sure if it actually means something in Swahili.

And thanks for the compliments, Chris!
gathinga said…
'uchumi' is kiswahili for 'economy' its the name that was given to the retail chain that has been in operation here since the seventies.

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