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Senators want Uhuru to write off Helb loans

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Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr

Senators have piled pressure on the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to annul its decision to publish names and photos of loan defaulters in leading dailies.

In a notice last week, Helb gave loan defaulters 30 days to commit to service their loans otherwise risk being named and shamed and legal action instituted against them.

“Helb wishes to notify the general public and loan defaulters that the Helb student loan is a government debt which should be repaid as per the terms and conditions on which it was advanced,” read the notice.

But Senators Samson Cherarkey (Nandi) and Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni) have dismissed the notice saying it is a way of embarrassing and ridiculing persons who, for no fault of their own, have been rendered poor and unemployed due to mismanagement of the country by the government; because they should have been employed.

Further, they want government compelled to write off loans for people who stay at home for over five years if they happen to get employment.

“We should be seeing waivers of those payments for those people who have determined that an attempt to get money from would-be futile or cost much more than the tmoney they have borrowed,” said Senator Mutula.

He added: “I have read the Act twice this week and there is no provision anywhere where Helb can publish the names or photographs of defaulters,”  

According to him, the Helb Act contemplates that they would check, first, after the period of one year that is provided under the law, whether that person has been employed and the circumstances under which that person has not paid.

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