Court Orders HELB to Pay Lawyer Ksh10M For Wrong Listing

  • Kenyans waiting for service at Helb offices.
    Kenyans waiting for service at Helb offices.
    File
  • A Nairobi court ordered the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to pay a lawyer Ksh10 million for erroneous listing as a defaulter.

    Justice James Makau argued that lawyer Eunice Nganga's reputation had been damaged hence the board also had to publish an apology in two national newspapers.

    "This court takes judicial notice to the fact that whoever is ever listed by any of the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) following an adverse information or report cannot be take as a person worthy granting a loan or doing business with otherwise. The person loses all respect and dignity. 

    Justice James Makau in court.
    Justice James Makau in court.
    File

    "I am alive to the fact that an adverse report from CRB is not a light joke, and no prudent business person would go about giving a loan or entering into a business contract with someone who has an adverse report from CRB," Justice Makau stated.

    The board, in its defence, stated that the lawyer had been listed as a defaulter due to a technical malfunction. 

    Eunice Nganga had unsuccessfully applied for a HELB loan in 1995. The board later sent a sum of Ksh8,000 to Maseno University, the university Ngang'a had obtained admission.

    Ngang'a, however, did not join Maseno university, hence she claimed she didn't receive the money.

    According to the board's policy, a defaulter is given a grace period of one year to which the stated person ought to start repaying the loan.

    The board kept pursuing the lawyer from 1999-2016 to repay the loan but they claim Nganga was evasive.

    The board resorted to reversing the money in February 2016. Much to the lawyer's dismay, she still found her name in the Credit Reference Bureau list in 2019.

    Nganga appealed to the board on multiple occasions but to no avail as the board kept telling her to put it in writing.

    The laywer also sued the Metropol CRB and the Trade Union but the two unions reverted the fault to the board stating they were following due procedure by adding names listed by HELB.

    HELB contact centre. Applications for the second and subsequent undergraduate loans 2020-2021 financial year are open.
    File image of HELB contact centre