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Suspicion over loan repayment hit Hustler Fund program

Hiccups have started to emerge just a week after President William Ruto launched Hustler Fund program, with claims of low repayment rate.

The money, which formed the spine of Ruto’s presidential campaign messaging, was to cushion small scale traders from acute economic times. The banks that are at the center of the facilitation of Hustler Fund program have since raised reservations with the speed with which money lenders are paying back the loan.

Up to now, only 5.1 per cent of the loans that were taken from the Hustler Fund program has been paid – something that could threaten the sustainability of the kitty launched last week to give low-cost loans to individuals and businesses. The Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said borrowers have repaid Sh190.62 million of the Sh3.69 billion disbursed so far. This means that there is a higher risk of many Kenyans becoming loan defaulters.

This is going to pose a big challenge to the national treasury because it’s solely relying on the proceeds from Hustler Fund program loan repayment to sustain resources that will be allocated to the Fund each year by Parliament.

Many people also expressed their dissatisfaction with the Hustler Fund program in that they were being asked to surrender their Personal Identification Number (PIN) as a prerequisite requirement before they’d be considered eligible for the loan.

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