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Kenyans skipping meals to service loans, says report

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Two out of every three Kenyans are struggling to repay debts, with a substantial chunk going hungry in a bid to save and pay loans, a new report shows.

Most of the debts, the report by Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, are from an array of lenders, including digital loans, shylocks and even the traditional banking providers.

The report points to a society where increased financial inclusion has resulted in more people digging themselves deeper into unsustainable debts mostly taken for consumption.This is as opposed to inclusion that offers better saving options and credit that uplifts borrowers’ wellbeing.

FSD Kenya, a programme that supports the development of financial markets, noted that a majority of Kenyans are in financial dire straits.It noted that 51 per cent of those polled have had to sell assets, borrowed from other credit providers or reduced food expenditure in a bid to pay money owed to the loans sharks.

Another 24 per cent spend more than half of their earnings in repaying debts while 18 per cent are in outright default.“Sixty-seven per cent of borrowers experienced at least two symptoms of debt stress, including default, being over-leveraged and selling assets or borrowing or cutting expenditure to repay loans,” said FSD in the report.

Neighbourhood shops

Further demonstrating the dire nature of the situation, those who take commodities on credit from neighbourhood shops tripled.The report noted that 29 per cent of Kenyans are this year taking goods on credit from shopkeepers, up from 10 per cent in 2016.

In addition to using up a huge chunk of their earnings to servicing the largely imprudently incurred debts and reducing disposable cash, FSD said the surge in the number of people taking the basic commodities sold in local shops on credit is also a factor of the economy.The lobby noted that digital loans have been critical in driving up loans advanced to Kenyans.Seven per cent of all loans are being advanced by the digital apps while another 10 per cent are by mobile banking – the fintechs owned by commercial banks.

This is up from a negligible proportion for the digital apps and about seven per cent for the bank-owned mobile lending platforms.

“Digital borrowing is rising fast, driving up formal borrowing rates. Nine per cent of Kenyans currently have a mobile banking loan and seven per cent currently have a loan through digital apps.However, the biggest leap is in the use of shopkeeper goods on credit, this is now at 29 per cent possibly a reflection of economic stress,” said FSD.

FSD noted that financial inclusion has increased to 83 per cent in 2019, a far cry from about 27 per cent in 2006.

The inclusion has however only meant access to mainstream financial services, with most Kenyans reporting that they are not financially healthy as measured by their ability to manage day to day, cope with risk and invest in the future.

By Standard

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Drama as delegates heckle DP Ruto during BBI launch 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Delegates heckled Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at the Bomas of Kenya over his remarks on the report

The DP was forced to pause his speech after the delegates started booing him after he appeared to express his dissatisfaction at the Youth leader Trans Nzoia County Alex Matere’s remarks about his wheelbarrow donations.

Ruto said by saying that Kenyans should not adopt 16th-century technology, Matere was referring to the wheelbarrows he has been supplying to Kenyans.

However, Ruto noted that the discussions Kenyans should have is why a 16th-century tool has millions of citizens still dependent on it in the 21st-century.

The DP’s remarks didn’t sit well with most of the delegates, which resulted in them openly expressing their displeasure and forcing him to stop talking.

Mbita Member of Parliament Millie Odhiambo appeared mainly pissed by Ruto’s remarks as he stood and jeering Ruto, drowning his speech.

He went on to ask for a minute to conclude his speech but the crowd couldn’t hear of it as they continued to jeer him after he appeared to hit out at the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Ruto concluded his speech by calling on leaders to refrain from contests pitting the rich and the poor by quoting former US President Abraham Lincoln.

DP Ruto then proceeded to welcome his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta to make his remarks with the delegates still shouting “respect the president,” as he took his seat.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also hit on the DP for engaging in early campaigns instead of supporting the President in delivering the Big-4 Agenda.

Raila said that Kenyans expect to be united for now but not campaigns of who will be the President in 2022 as they will handle that when the time comes.

The ODM Party leader noted that Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta should be working as a pair to bring a difference in the country.

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Uhuru maintains Raila is not government

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BY KEVIN KOECH

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 26 October 2020 made it clear that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga is not in the government.

Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the Head of State explained that when he decided to come into an agreement with Raila, the mission was to find a way to healing this country.

“When we sat down to talk, something that was very difficult, for him and also for me and my team, very difficult. But when we got through to it and we spoke and we spoke again, we agreed that we are not here to share positions and we should put our various positions aside,” he said.

He mentioned that the two agreed to come together with a common agenda of ensuring that what the people of Kenyan have witnessed in 1992, 2005, 2007, and 2017 Kenyans shall never witness again.

He went on to make it clear that Raila Odinga never made any demands from the government.

“We did not talk about sharing government and as we stand today, he (Raila) is not in government. He is not in government; he never made any demands for the government. He never made any demands for a share of government,” he added.

The President pointed out that Raila Odinga asked for the two opposing sides to come together and fix what has been ailing the country.

He explained that this would allow the country in the future to be able to compete without the need for the innocent Kenyans blood being shed.

He went on to that the ODM leader for showing his patriotism and looking for a solution because he did not have to do it.

Uhuru also gave special thanks to his Deputy William Ruto for being part and parcel of the handshake and making the BBI report.

He revealed the three agreed that they would never talk about elective posts as they aimed to unite Kenyans.

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Corazone Kwamboka calls out Maureen Waititu for allegedly insulting her baby

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BY KEVIN KOECH

There seems to be unending drama between lawyer cum socialite Corazon Kwamboka and her boyfriend’s ex Maureen Waititu.

Maureen and her baby daddy Frankie have been on each others neck with Frankie claiming the YouTuber denies him a chance to see his kids.

In her defence, Waititu claimed that Frankie does not support their two kids.

Kwamboma also jumped in and joined in the drama.

She blasted Waititu for insulting her baby because she got him with Frankie.

According to the curvy lawyer, having a baby with Waitutu’s ex is not reason enough for her to insult a young child.

“Only a sick person can insult a baby calling him a name so despicable I can’t even talk just because I had him with their ex.”

Corazon and Frankie started dating shortly after he broke up with Maureen Waititu.

They got their first child months ago.

Kwamboka further accused Waititu of always driving to her house at midnight.

According to Corazon, she was scared since she had not invited Waititu to her place.

Waititu’s behaviour forced Corazon to move out of her house to somewhere she felt safe.

“One day i’ll open my mouth. drove me out of my own house out of fear. I had to leave a house I bought with my own sweat to go into hiding because sister was driving to my house at midnight trying to I don’t know to do what to me!” she said.

The curvaceous lawyer also urged Maureen to live her life and avoid living for others.

“Don’t live for the cheers, you won’t die by their boos. People get too invested in other people’s lives like it pays,” she said.

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