Mombasa tycoon Twahir Sheikh Said, popularly known by the acronym TSS, has died in South Africa while undergoing treatment.
Having started off in 1968 transporting building materials, fuel, coffee and tea across Eastern Africa, his investments now span coffee export under Juja Coffee exporters, shipping, cotton ginning and salt in addition to the TSS Bus Company, Pop-in fuel station and TSS Grain Millers in the industrial area of Shimanzi. He was also in the real estate and milling businesses, and had ventures at the Coast and other parts of the country.
Mr. TSS hit the headlines last year when court documents revealed that his businesses have defaulted on over Sh. 8 billion he owes three local banks.
In July last year, KCB took over Tahir’s Unga Millers after he failed to honour his repayments on a Sh. 1 billion loan. However, this was just a fraction of the Sh. 2.7 billion loan the tycoon owed the bank.
His businesses are said to be in default of more than Sh8 billion owed to three banks, holding a significant portion of the total non-performing loans in the banking industry.
Wealth in Kenya report of 2014 listed Mr Tahir as one of the largest land owners in the country. However, the government has since cancelled a number of title deeds associated with him. The businessman is known to have defaulted on at least Sh1.4 billion with NIC Bank and Sh300 million with National Bank.
Early in 2015, the government cancelled title deeds to large tracts of land in Lamu county that were associated with the tycoon.
This was the same period he started receiving notices of loan default from banks. TSS claimed that he wasn’t aware of the mega loans. In court documents, the billionaire blamed the change of fortunes on mismanagement by his children and brother-in-law.