Tatu City lays off 60pc of staff in strategic change of business model


A real estate investment firm has shed 60 per cent of its workforce in what the management says is a change of strategy and business model.  In a new strategy, Tatu City says it will now outsource most of its services.

Majority of the affected staff were recruited in March last year after the company got approvals from the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) and the Ruiru Municipal Council to start the project. The affected employees had January 31, this year as their last working day.

“Over the last three years, we have been in a planning phase for the project which is now headed towards its execution stage.

The employees who have left were all involved in the planning phase,” Tatu City head of corporate affairs and communication, Mr Solomon Mahinda told the Nation.

The recruitment of its chief executive is, however, still pending. The Sh240-billion city is to be built in Kiambu County — 60 kilometres from Nairobi.

The lay off comes two weeks after the High Court declined to wind up the company as requested by minority shareholders, Ms Rosemary Wanja and Mr Stephen Mwagiru instead urging the two to sell off their shareholding.

Other local shareholders include industrialist Vimal Shah, former Central Bank governor Nahashon Nyagah and businessman Josphat Kinyua.

Investment company, Renaissance Group, holds a majority stake in the multi-billion project. The court case which has been pending in court since 2010 has delayed the start of the project which is being undertaken by Renaissance Group, though its real estate development subsidiary, Rendeavour.

Sitting on a 2,500-acre plot of land on the outskirts of Nairobi, the modern city is expected to house about 62,000 residents and accommodate an average of 30,000 visitors daily. It is also expected to create over 500,000 permanent and temporary jobs once complete.

Rendeavour is also developing other similar cities in Africa including two in Ghana at King City and Appolonia, Kiswishi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Roma Park in Zambia.

Last year, the company awarded a Sh300 million contract to Gibb Africa and Mehta Construction Company to clear the site to pave way for construction of road, electricity and drainage systems for Tatu City.

“We are scheduled to commence civil works during 2013 with the next phases to be announced shortly,” Mr Mahinda added.-Nation




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