Loopholes in Uhuru's CRB Directive

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation regarding new measures by the government
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation regarding new measures by the government to combat the Covid-19 virus, on March 25 at Statehouse, Nairobi.
    PSCU
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, March 25, directed that there be no CRB listing for Kenyans whose loan fall due April 1, 2020, as an economic measure against the Covid-19.

    "We direct the temporary suspension of listing on CRB of any persons, micro, small, medium entities and corporate entities whose loan account fall due or is in arrears effective, April 1, 2020," finalized the President.

    A spot check by Kenyans.co.ke at a major telco company and a major bank, however, established that the directive by the president was vague and did not apply to interest accrued and penalties on loans defaulted.

    The major lender informed Kenyans.co.ke that while they would honour the directive by the President, they would not forgo their fees since it had not been mentioned in the address.

    An image of an holding a stash of cash
    An image of an holding a stash of cash
    Simon Kiragu

    "The directive was issued yesterday and it also depends on when it is supposed to be put into effect, but as for the fee, since nothing was mentioned on that, then these are currently on," a source stated.

    Another company that deals with mobile money loans echoed the same to the reporter.

    "I am talking on behalf of our organization and not others. If you have received a loan from us and have not paid your loan by the required date, the rollover fee applies would still apply.

    "What will not happen is that if you will not have cleared the loan by April 1, then that is when you will not be listed with the CRB, but the charges remain the same and the rollover fee applies," the agent explained.

    This reporter further spoke to Likuyani MP Enock Wamalwa who sits in the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning concerning the issue.

    He noted the vagueness in the directive, but informed that plans were underway to have the MPs convene and iron out the issues that still needed clarity.

    "It has not been made clear, but that is one thing that we need to look into deeply. These are things that are going to be discussed by parliament. We will smoothen the rough edges and then it will come out as good law.

    Likuyani MP Enoch Wamalwa addresses a gathering at Aligula secondary school in Likuyani constituency on May 10, 2019.
    Likuyani MP Enoch Wamalwa addresses a gathering at Aligula secondary school in Likuyani constituency on May 10, 2019.
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    He further noted that the scepticism from Kenyans was due to the newness of the situation the country is in, but insisted that all the government was trying to do was to make life easier for Kenyans at such a difficult time.

    "What the government wants to make sure of, is that the cost of doing business is a little reduced, especially among the small business people in the long run.

    "These are new things and that is why everyone is sceptical. We have never been through this before. These are uncharted waters. Let us go out and see how the directives will be implemented," he concluded.