How Nakumatt sealed Its fate after senior staff conspired to kill Internal Auditor for USD800
Details have now emerged that Nakumatt’s chief accountant who was killed may have been an inside job.
Nakumatt supermarket is struggling to stay afloat and has been even forced to shut down several of its branches and lay off hundreds of workers.
Its pleas to the government for a bail was rebuffed last week and most recently the chain was evicted from one of Kenya’s biggest malls, over rent arrears.
Details have now emerged that Nakumatt’s chief accountant who was killed as he left the supermarket’s head offices, two years ago may have been an inside job.
Witness statements in the ongoing trial of three suspects, including Police Constable Ezekiel Momanyi Onsongo, indicate James Mania Karanja, the internal auditor was killed for unearthing a major fraud at the now troubled retailer, according to a local media.
According to Witnesses’ claims constable, Onsongo was given a down payment of $800 from a Nakumatt insider to carry out the execution, as per court papers.
He was to receive an unknown balance once the task was completed, a key witness told the court.
Barely hours after the shooting incident carried out a few meters away from firm head office off Mombasa Road, a warning arrived promptly in the email accounts of the senior nakumatt officials that read:
“Last year, we warned James Karanja but he did not listen, now see what has happened to him.”
Ever since the death of Karanja who was 27yrs old then, threatening emails have been sent to four senior officials in the firm warning them of possible elimination should they carry on with investigations into the said fraud.
“James was a young man the age mate of Gilbert and intelligent but his life is no more. Michael is a young man with a young family. I will deal with them. Mr Kimondo will follow suit. I am watching,” the emailed warning copied to four senior officials reads.
Police have narrowed down the motive behind the killing of Karanja to his persistence at stopping mega fraud perpetrated by senior staff and suppliers which were costing Nakumatt tens of millions.
“The motive of the deceased’s death was due to the fraud investigations he was conducting at Nakumatt Holdings Ltd,” Investigating Officer Julius Kiema told the court.
The court is however yet to receive the names of the fraudsters.
The police constable is in custody alongside former chief accountant Phillip Manyura Maroko and boda boda rider Dennison Mose Maroko all who are facing numerous charges over the death of Karanja.
While it is not immediately possible to determine whether the supposed mega fraud is responsible for the financial woes the retailer is currently in, one thing is clear though Nakumatt started off on a slippery slope with the death of the internal auditor.
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