Back to Africa Check

No, Kenyans not being arrested for mobile loan arrears – photos from old news events

Bonyeza hapa ili kusoma ripoti hii kwa Kiswahili.

Kenyans who have defaulted on loans from mobile money lenders Tala, Branch and Fuliza went into panic mode after a claim that they would be arrested surfaced on Facebook.

The post reads: “BREAKING NEWS!!!! 12 people have been arrested after failing to pay Tala, Branch and Fuliza loans, Ukipigiwa simu Usichukue!!! Wako Pangani, ndo wanaingia Nairobi.”

The last part is Kiswahili for: “If they call, don’t pick up your phone!!! They are at Pangani, just about to get into the city of Nairobi.” Pangani is a neighbourhood in the outskirts of the city.



Years-old pictures of different news events


The post includes two photos. One shows a woman sitting between two uniformed officers in the cab of a police van, shielding her face with her shirt.

The other is of four men in the back of a police van with two armed officers.

But a reverse image search of the first photo reveals it was taken on 20 February 2018 by Aggrey Omboki of Nation Media Group. According to an article in the Nation, the woman was a suspect arrested for the theft of a baby from the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

Another reverse image search tracks the second photo to a 1 May 2014 article on a Somali Media website. The caption says the four men in the police van were Somali and Ethiopian nationals arrested in Nairobi during a terror crackdown. The photo was taken by Tony Karumba of AFP on 17 April 2014.

Mobile lending apps are popular – and controversial – in Kenya. But are loan defaulters at risk of arrest?

Africa Check contacted the lenders to find out.

Loan default not a criminal offence, so no arrest


“This is inaccurate,” Dennis Mbuvi, a Safaricom communications officer, told us. “No one has been arrested for defaulting on Fuliza and there is no such crackdown.”

Fuliza is a product of Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom.

“Should you delay repaying your Fuliza, you will get reminders for 90 days.” After this the defaulter would be listed with a credit reference bureau, Mbuvi said.

“The delisting process is initiated once a customer makes a repayment. Defaulting on a loan is not a criminal offence and therefore one cannot be arrested for this.”

Tala’s regional marketing and brand director Kevin Kaburu said the Facebook post was “false and inaccurate”. 

“Loan defaulters post the grace period and the late penalty fee period, move into our collections unit who engage in conversations with the customer with a view to help in the repayment,” he told Africa Check.

“We do also submit names to credit reference bureau for the defaulters.”

Branch also says defaulters are reported to a credit reference bureau.

“If you are very late on your payments, we report to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB),” Branch says on the frequently asked questions page of their website. “Blacklisting by the CRB may affect your ability to borrow from other lenders.” - Grace Gichuhi 






La hasha! Wakenya hawakamatwi kwa kutolipa mikopo ya simu- picha hizi ni za matukio ya zamani


Wakenya ambao wameshindwa kulipa mikopo waliyoichukua kupitia simu ka mkono maarufu kama mobile, waliingiwa na hofu baada ya madai kwenye mtandao wa kijamii wa Facebook kwamba watakamatwa. Wengi walioingiwa na wasiwasi ni wateja waliokopa kupitia Tala, Branch na Fuliza.

Chapisho hilo kwenye Facebook lilisoma hivi: "HABARI ZA HIVI PUNDE!!! Watu 12 wamekamatwa baada kushindwa kulipa mikopo ya Tala, Branch na Fuliza, Ukipigiwa simu, Usiichukue !!! Wako Pangani, ndowanaingia Nairobi.”



Picha hizo inaonyesha matukio ya zamani


Chapisho hilo lina picha mbili. Picha ya kwanza inaonyesha mwanamke aliyeketi katikati ya maafisa wawili wa polisi kwenye gari la polisi. Ameficha uso wake kwa kutumia shati lake.

Picha ya pili inaonyesha wanaume wanne nyuma ya gari la polisi wakiwa na maafisa wawili waliojihami.

Lakini utafiti wa picha hiyo kwenye mtandao unaonyesha ilichukuliwa mnamo 20 Februari 2018 na Aggrey Omboki wa kampuni ya habari ya Nation.

Kulingana na gazeti la Daily Nation, mwanamke huyo alikuwa mtuhumiwa aliyekamatwa kwa wizi wa mtoto kutoka Hospitali ya Kitaifa ya Kenyatta jijini Nairobi.

Utafiti wa picha ya pili unaonyesha kuwa picha hio ilichapishwa kwa mara ya kwanza 1 Mei 2014 kwenye tovuti moja inayochapisha habari za Somalia na kwa lugha ya Kisomali.

Maelezo ya picha hii yanasema kuwa watu hao wanne katika gari la polisi walikuwa raia wa Kisomali na wa Ethiopia waliokamatwa jijini Nairobi wakati wa operesheni ya kuwasaka washukiwa wa ugaidi. Picha hiyo ilichukuliwa na Tony Karumba wa AFP mnamo 17 Aprili 2014.

Programu, zinazofahamika kama apps, zinazotumia kukopesha pesa kupitia simu za rununu ni maarufu - lakini pia zina utata- nchini Kenya. Lakini je, watu wasiolipa mikopo wamo katika hatari ya kukamatwa?

Africa Check iliwasiliana na wakopeshaji hao kubaini ukweli.

Kukosa kulipa mkopo sio kosa la jinai, kwa hivyo hakuna kukamatwa


“Hii sio sahihii,” Dennis Mbuvi, afisa wa mawasiliano wa kampuni la Safaricom, alituambia. “Hakuna mtu aliyekamatwa kwa kukosa kulipa mkopo wa Fuliza na hakuna msako kama huo unaoendeshwa.”

Fuliza ni progamu ya kampuni ya simu ya Kenya ya Safaricom.

“Ukichelewa kulipa mkopo wako wa Fuliza, utakumbushwa kwa muda wa siku 90.” Baada ya hapo, iwapo utashindwa kulipa, basi utaorodheshwa na ofisi inayoweka historia ya mikopo, credit reference bureau, alisema Mbuvi.

“Mchakato wa kulifuta jina la mtu kutoka kwenye orodha ya wale waliokosa kulipa mikopo, huanzishwa mara tu mteja atakapolipa deni. Kushindwa kulipa mkopo sio kosa la jinai na kwa hivyo mtu hawezi kukamatwa.”

Afisa anayehusika na mauzo katika kampuni ya Tala Kevin Kaburu alisema chapisho hilo la Facebook lilikuwa “la uwongo na sio sahihi”.

“Wasiolipa mkopo ama wanaokiuka kulipa mkopo ndani ya kipindi ambacho walitakiwa kulipa, au walipotakiwa kulipa pamoja na faini, wanaweza kuja kwenye kitengo chetu cha malipo kwa mazungumzo yenye lengo la kumsaidia mteja kuweza kulipa,” aliiambia Afrika Check.

“Pia tunawasilisha majina ya wasiolipa kwenye ofisi za CRB.”

Kampuni ya Branch International pia inasema wasiolipa mkopo huripotiwa katika ofisi za CRB.

“Ukichelewa sana kulipa, tunaripoti kwenye ofisi za CRB,” Branch inasema kwenye ukurasa wa maswali yanaoulizwa mara kwa mara.

“Kuorodheshwa na CRB kunaweza kuathiri uwezo wako wa kukopa kutoka kwa wakopeshaji wengine.” – Grace Gichuhi




 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters