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Zahara Group closes Kero Gika but guarantees to maintain jobs

The Zahara Comercio group, owner of the Kero hypermarkets, announced the closure of the Kero Gika store, the only one it does not own, but it will preserve jobs, a company source assured.

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The information about the closure of the hypermarket, located in the Luanda Shopping Centre, as of 21 August, was disclosed Tuesday evening and confirmed Wednesday by Lusa from a source at the company, which is part of a group of assets built with public funds recovered by the State, in the process of tender for transfer of its management.

The same source said that the decision had already been transmitted to the store's workers, who have been relocated depending on the proximity of their area of residence, being in question 50 to 70 jobs.

The Kero chain explained in a statement that the store located in Luanda Shopping was not owned by the Zahara group, and was operated under an installation contract signed with the shopping center's management entity, which has now ended.

The establishment was the only one of the 13 stores that was not part of the set of assets put out to tender with a view to finding a new operator to operate the hypermarket chain.

Over the last few months, Kero Gika's poor health was already visible, with few customers and many empty shelves in the store.

The retail chain was owned by Generals Hélder Vieira Dias "Kopelipa" and Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento "Dino", members of the Presidency of the Republic at the time of former President José Eduardo dos Santos and former Vice President Manuel Vicente.

In October 2020, the Attorney General's Office announced that after being constituted defendants, the generals proceeded to deliver to the State several assets, including the Kero chain of hypermarkets.

The tender includes 12 stores with an average sales area of 6,000 square metres, of which eight are located in Luanda province and four in the provinces of Benguela, Huila and Huambo.

The tender for the contract to cede the right to operation and management was officially opened on 15 July and will run until 3 September of this year, and there have already been "several expressions of interest," on the part of distribution operators, according to a source contacted by Lusa.

Among the interested parties are the South African company Shoprite, the Angolan company Deskontão and the French Carrefour.

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