End of the road for Akamba Bus

By John Oyuke

After years as a dominant player in the transport industry, Akamba has lost its shine.

It remains doubtful if the once jewel in the transport sector would hold on to hopes of making a comeback.

It’s hard to say where the decline truly began, but there’s little question that the recent near-total shuttering of Akamba, along with news that the company has suffered in the hands of auctioneers marks a sad end to a one-time corporate giant. Properties of the regional public transport operator are set for public auction next month.

First public auction of buses repossessed from the transporter is due to take place on June 6, dimming any possibility of a revival after over 50 years on the road.

Heavily indebted

Garam Investments, an auctioneering firm has invited interested buyers to view the vehicle conditions and has scheduled auction for first public auction of 20 repossessed buses in Nairobi.

“We shall sell by public auction the following repossessed buses on June 6, at Leaky’s Storage Ltd, Kitui Road, Nairobi’s Industrial Area,” the auctioneer’s notice read in part.

Akamba’s fortunes have been adversely affected by endless boardroom and sour relations with creditors, resulting in withdrawal of buses from all routes and suspension of operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Sources intimated to Business Weekly that Akamba is heavily indebted to several financial institutions and other service providers, who confiscated its buses.

The planned auction comes at a time when another creditor is seeking orders from court to appoint receivers to run the troubled public transport operator, which has halted operation on mounting debts.

Treadsetters Tyres Ltd, which is owed nearly Sh40 million for tyre supplies and servicing is calling on other creditors, including KCB and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) to join it to have the company run by their appointed executives.