Home NEWS County News MPs vow to deal with unscrupulous asset finance entities

MPs vow to deal with unscrupulous asset finance entities

MPs with Bodaboda operators after a public hearing on alleged exploitative lending practices by asset finance entities.

National Assembly Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning has pledged to get to the bottom of the operations of unscrupulous asset finance entities operating under Buy Now Pay Later model.

The MPs made the commitment during public hearings in respect to the inquiry on alleged exploitative lending practices faced by Kenyans across the country through asset finance entities under ‘Buy now pay later model’.

Inundated by accounts of harrowing experiences that boda boda operators have undergone in the hands of these unscrupulous lenders, the legislators noted the need to create stringent legal framework to regulate the sector.

Mr. James Sambai, who leads a welfare group in Langata said over 10 riders in his welfare group had mysteriously lost their motor cycles just when they were about to complete the payment of their loan facilities.

A similar account was given by Ms. Faith Otieno from Ruaraka who specializes in online deliveries, whose motor cycle was stolen just when she had packed it to pick her child from a daycare. She revealed that she had paid a total of Ksh246,000 before the bike got stolen.

The Committee heard that despite the hundreds of the motorcycles stolen being insured by the lenders themselves and installed with a tracking device, they had neither been compensated nor had the tracking system led to their discoveries.

Some of the riders also claimed that their colleagues had lost their lives soon after completion of the payment of their loans, under very unclear circumstances.

Others told the Committee that they had received threats from the rogue companies after they had appeared in the media during an earlier engagement with the Committee on the matter.

“We live in constant fear. You have no idea who your next client is and what their intentions are. We urge this Committee to protect us”, Mr. Eric Wambua, a rider from Njiru area in Nairobi pleaded.

Led by the Chairperson Kuria Kimani the Members assured the over 50 operators who had come forth to give their witness accounts, that the Committee would stop at nothing until the ongoing exploitation that has caused them untold suffering is stopped.

“We are paid to work for you. We have invited you here because we believe this engagement will offer you reprieve from the agony you have been made to go through. We are therefore committed to this cause and we shall make strong recommendations in our report which will end up on the floor of the House for consideration,” said Kimani.

His sentiments were echoed by Committee Members Hon. Joseph Munyoro (Kigumo), Hon. Umulkheir Kassim (Mandera), Hon. Paul Biego (Chesumei) and Hon. (Dr.) John Ariko who expressed concerns that such exploitation had been going on unabated.

The matter was first brought to the attention of the House by Hon. Munyoro when he sought a Statement on the floor of the House from the Committee Chairperson on the matter.

The Speaker committed the matter to the Committee, which thereafter commenced an inquiry on the allegations.

The Committee is next week scheduled to engage with the five lenders implicated in the unscrupulous dealings, alongside the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) to shed more light on the matter.

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