By Thula Chisamba
Economic expert cum historian, Desmond Phiri, has described financial lending institutions as ‘daylight thieves’ citing, they are stealing from poor Malawians.
In an exclusive interview, Phiri emphasized that loans obtained from such institutions have since proven to be traps to steal from the poor masses.
“Their interest rates are just too much for an ordinary Malawian. It’s awful to learn that some lending institutions charge as much as 30%. That is daylight stealing,” he fumed.
Phiri couldn’t mince words to disclose that much as such lending facilities are becoming abnormally rich,most poor Malawians are becoming poorer in the country.
He said he hopes government would react quickly, so that the situation could change for the better.
“Let us not run things as if we don’t have economic experts in the government system. Why should our fellow Malawians be suffering such huge interest rates? That’s unfair,” added Phiri.
According to him, beneficiaries of such loans are not making any tangible progress in regard to improving their financial status.
Phiri said instead, each time they pay back the loan, they continue to borrow more and at these outlandish interest rates they get further and further into debt.
Some women who are beneficiaries of such loans in Mzimba, confided to this publication that they really struggle to repay the loans owing to huge interest rates.
“I got my loans from FINCA Malawi. It was about MK100,000. I invested in a business but as you can see, my business has already lost the capital yet I’m not yet done repaying the loan,” said Eunice Ngwira, tomato trader.
When we went to press, comments from officials at several major lending institution were very similar. They all attributed the cause to the high interest rates their companies are charged at the Central Bank.
On his part, minister of finance and economic planning, Goodall Gondwe, promised that his office will look into the issue with keen interest, so that things may improve.