On Sunday, President William Ruto outlined how his administration intends to rein in defaulters who have taken out loans from the Financial Inclusion Fund, sometimes known as the Hustler Fund, but failed to make payments.
When people apply for group finance, the Hustler Fund’s second offering, the government will restrain those who have defaulted on individual loans, according to Ruto, who was speaking at a service of thanksgiving in Ukunda, Kwale county.
“You people have already borrowed Ksh.400 million more than 230,000. The good thing is that most of you are paying as they borrow more. As of now 68% are paying but there is another 30% and they know themselves,” he said.
“We have increased money for borrowing and we have said that there is an option to borrow as groups and we will give you between Ksh.20,000 to Ksh.1 million you plan yourselves. There is just a small problem before we have given you that Ksh.20,000 you will first need to pay the Ksh.500 which you borrowed the first time.”
While expressing optimism that the move will tame the defaulters, he insisted that his government will not allow a few individuals to enjoy an undue advantage when it comes to borrowing yet others have been abiding by the set guidelines and paid their dues on time.
“You cannot escape that. Even when you plan I am not sleeping, I am also planning on my end. Even if it were you, if a person has made away with Ksh.500 will you give them Ksh.20,000?” he posed.
“You’re the one to decide if you want to borrow first pay the amount you went away with. You have nobody to blame, the opportunity you will destroy it yourselves.”
As of June, data released by Co-operatives and MSME Development Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui showed that Ksh.31.5 billion had been disbursed while loan repayments stood at Ksh.21.2 billion. The savings account stood at Ksh.1.5 billion.
CS Chelugui added that the number of people who have registered with the fund now stands at 20 million while 7.1 million have borrowed from the kitty and repaid more than once.
A total of 170, 376 groups have so far been launched and about Ksh.20 million disbursed.
The Hustler Fund was launched by President Ruto on November 30, 2022, and made available through mobile money service platforms.