Many Kenyans are grappling with high economic costs and end up being victims of the the many digital shylocks operating in the country.
Earlier this month it was reported that a Business Development Manager for the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) by the name Erick Kaloki was hacked to death in North Mugirango, Kisii by a client’s husband who was demanding that he be refunded an extra payment made of a loan taken by his wife earlier on.
Some people have been driven to suicide because of debt. For example, in December last year a 23-year-old Sylvia Aluoch committed suicide by jumping into river Kuja, in Ongito village, Uriri, Migori County to escape her Ksh9000 merry-go-round debt while coming from the group’s meeting that had threatened to auction her property.
“The woman secured the loan from a ‘Sacco’ and was under pressure to re-pay,” the police said in a statement.
Digital loan apps in Kenya go hand in hand with gambling epidemic. Kenyans recently watched in disbelief as photos of a 40-year-old Richard Wangai who had jumped to his death from the 7th floor of Adlife Plaza located near Yaya Centre in Nairobi’s Kilimani after losing Sh15 million while gambling at a casino.
Enter Zenka, a new loan app being peddled by ‘influencers’ as the revolutionary loan app. This is a death trap that millions are being lured to.
Zenka app does not just collect data to use on the phone itself but they share data with other servers. It’s true Zenka app sends your location to a server run by the app’s developer to calculate the credit risk before granting you a loan.
This is exposing desperate youths and parents with no stable income but have urgent and or pressing needs such as school fees since it’s a requirement to give ID numbers, full names, photo, bank details, residential addresses, email addresses, next of kin, social media accounts and employment details.
Zenka does not even have clear physical address, it only operate from the digital space fueled by the so called influencers who at no time will ever use the app to take a loan.
High interest rates
A look at their social media pages introduces one to an app with high interest rates that ordinary citizens and their target clientele cannot cope up with.
“30% interest is too high this is theft without violence” Peter Olima
“So many people are complaining about your High interest rates and customer care. Please address these issues conclusively. Hii majibu ya ‘flexible’ means you have cards under the table. kindly consider having known rates for both long and short term watu wajue.” Kodes Antony observed.
“Zenka you are too expensive…your intrest rate is too high.” Mirom Yahuma
“Zenka the interest is really high kupita kiasi” Dorcas Bosibori
“My advice – take your first loan and only pay when you don’t need cash because you may not qualify for a second loan even after paying on time.” Jacinta Ben
“You are a disappointment to your clients.How long does your loan Limit review take? It is two weeks and am waiting for mine to be reviewed yet I cleared the previous loan even before the the due date.” Nyaga Nthia
Many of their potential customers have applied in vain with too little being done to help them apply successfully for the exhobitant loan.
The Government needs to close down this app if at all they want to stop the rising suicides in Kenya. With the month of January where jobless Kenyans are desperate and can do anything on their table, the mobile loan apps such Zenka, Okash, Opesa and those apps will introduce the younger generation into deeper financial crises.