Man Commits Suicide in Kakamega After Frequent Calls From Loan App

  • An image of an holding a stash of cash
    Kenyan bank notes held in hand.
    Simon Kiragu
  • A man from Eshiambitsi ward in Navakholo, Kakamega county, allegedly committed suicide on Saturday, October 17 after constant pressure from a digital money lender.

    The man identified as Solomon Ayindi had taken a loan from the said lender, but had defaulted on payment due to the harsh economic impact of Covid-19.

    According to Ayindi's mother, Alice Omwenje, her son had borrowed Ksh.30,000 and was constantly being pressured by the mobile money lender to repay the loan.

    File image of a man on his phone
    File image of a man on his phone

    Ayindi who is renowned in Eshiambitsi is said to have repaid part of the loan according to the family, but had an outstanding balance that he was struggling to clear.

    The body of the deceased was found hanging from the ceiling of his house on Saturday night, leaving most residents shocked.

    The family claims that the digital lender failed to listen to Ayindi's requests for an extension of the repayment deadline.

    The man's house is set to be demolished in line with the traditions whenever a man commits suicide.

    Elders from the village revealed that his body would not be taken to a funeral home, but will instead be buried at the spot where he committed suicide, and without a ceremony.

    This comes after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on Monday, October 12 blocked more than 337 unregulated digital mobile lenders and micro financiers from forwarding the names of loan defaulters to Credit Reference Bureau (CRBs).

    The decision was arrived at after the regulator noted that there has been public outcry over widespread misuse of the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) mechanism on mobile loan apps.

    They have been known to make incessant phone calls, using different phone numbers to force defaulters to pay.

    Over 3.2 million Kenyans are blacklisted for defaulting on loans with data indicating that the number jumped from 2.7 million in 2019.

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) building in Nairobi.
    Simon Kiragu