Kenyans Come Up With Tricks to Offset Their Many Loans

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Just where will you hide when these apps, Shylocks and other money lending institutions come for you?

The Kenyan government is third in Africa, after Angola and Ethiopia, with the largest Chinese debt, almost clocking Ksh.1 Trillion. Well, that’s not what I’m set to discuss. My concern is how Kenyans have followed their government’s suit in borrowing all over ending up looking desperate when the figures they owe are tallied.

“The survey shows 72 per cent of loans taken by adults aged above 18 years is for personal consumption.”

–@TheStarKenya April 5, 2019

Citizens appetite for borrowing has skyrocketed thanks to increased number of mobile applications for Windows and Android for lending money. Kenya is famous for mobile banking, the inception of M-Shwari being an open blessing to Wanjiku who could not manage to become credit worthy in larger money lending institutions such as commercial banks. Loans had been brought one click away. A push of cellphone buttons was enough.

However, M-Shwari did not and still does not lend money anyhow. They have a way of determining whether you as their customer is credit worthy. While in other apps God might be your witness, Mshwari watches your money grow through your savings though they are still not immune to borrow and run customers.

As a norm in the Kenyan business scene, you introduce an idea, rivals study it, master your art and run with it in even a better fashion. Apps were developed with greater speed. There came Tala, Okash, Branch, Pesa Pap, just to mention a few because I’m not yet a notorious borrower.

These money lenders don’t require much from you, just a few irrelevant questions. I call them irrelevant because you can lie and still get a loan. For instance, one app asked a friend whether he had an outstanding loan elsewhere and he chase to say ‘no’ when he was yet to pay a loan elsewhere. He still got money to squander and complain about debts later.

 

It then occurred to me that we are being introduced to virtual Shylocks who are too good to be true. They do not offer deposit services but lend money anyhow. Kenyans are exposed to money slavery left right and centre but who forces money on you anyway? “Unakopa mwenyewe kwa hiari yako. “

All said though, the Swahili people said in their wise adages, ‘Ahadi ni deni na dawa ya deni ni kulipa’ (Once you borrow you must pay as you promised to). If the money wasn’t invested in a meaningful business that would generate income to repay the loans then you’ll definitely find yourself in an imbroglio. You’ll lament even to people you were not with while enjoying what you thought would be a free meal.

After getting short messages that threaten to list you with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), you’d be all over looking for solutions. And since their is no hacks for that like ‘bundle mwitu’, creative Kenyans will come to your rescue.

“FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 101
How to Manage Mobile Debt

– Take Fuliza to repay MShwari
– Take Tala to repay Fuliza
– Take KCB MPesa to repay Tala
– Take Branch to repay KCB MPesa
– Take Okoa to repay Branch
– Take Zidisha to repay Okoa
– Take Fuliza to repay Zidisha

Thank Me Later.”

–Joshua K. Njenga April 5, 2019

The problem with this is that you will end up in a loop of borrowing to offset other debts and that’s how financial slavery sets in. A vicious cycle of poverty. A toxic debt trap. But we are Kenyans under a government that borrowed a second Eurobond to pay the first Eurobond. And as if it’s becoming a norm:

“The Treasury has taken a new Sh20 billion loan to help Kenya Airways repay another loan it borrowed from African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) two years ago.”

@dailynation. April 5, 2019

You might also get lucky* and receive an M-Pesa message from a ‘wrong number’ and offset your Fuliza.

What will you do when tougher regulations will be be introduced to ensure you repay you mountain of a loan and you have no means?

Just where will you hide when these apps, Shylocks and other money lending institutions come for you?

I sought for help on social media on how I can let myself off the debt hook and Kenyans are a helpful lot.

By George Misati  Journalist

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