Pain of civil servants losing pay to loans they never took

Kennedy Motari Mandere who is paying two loans from platinum credit that he did not take. (Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard)
A credit firm is on the spot after a number of civil servants accused it of making them service loans they never applied for.

The civil servants, among them Assistant County Commissioner Hesbon Kayesi, are at a loss after their salaries were deducted to pay for loans said to have been taken from Platinum Credit.

Kennedy Motari Mandere, a clerical officer in the Ministry of Interior, was deducted money to service two loans that he claims he did not apply for, one for Sh409,000 and another a top up of Sh140,000.

The monthly loan deduction of Sh8,715 for the top-up loan, as indicated in the application form, is to be paid in a period of 48 months from 2013. From the application documents, the loan was signed up by a Kenedy Motari Mandere (note the single 'N' in Kenedy) with same ID number as that of Mandere but a different serial number.

The loan applicant got his ID at Gucha in Kisii County, was born on same date, June 6, 1965, as Mandere but no district of birth is indicated. Mandere on the other hand says he was issued his ID card at Kibera, Nairobi County, on May 26, 2014 and that he was born in Gucha District.

The applicant's Kenya Revenue Authority PIN is identical to Mandere's but ends with an X in the place of Mandere's K.

“I discovered in 2014 January that my Sh14,700 had been deducted from my November and December salary. I wrote a complaint letter to Interior PS and the Banking Fraud Investigation Unit at the DCI,” said Mandere.

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The Salaries Department office at the ministry stopped the deductions, and told him to go to Platinum Credit to claim his money. But after following the matter for three months, he gave up.

In a strange twist, four years later on August 2018, the deductions resumed. He wrote again to the PS Interior to stop the deductions. He categorically denies ever taking the loan, saying the only loan he had was with Cooperative Bank.

“So far, the deductions are still ongoing and I have now lost more than Sh50,000 paying the fake loan which I didn’t take,” said Mandere.

When we contacted the PS’s office, the External Communication officers said the best option was for Mandere to personally follow up the matter.

Kayesi was an assistant county commissioner at Kibera from 2011 to 2017 and has since been transferred to Trans Mara. 

“I went to the bank to withdraw my salary but I was told I did not have sufficient cash. When I got the pay slip, I found I had been paying a loan of Sh523,332 at Sh11,156 per month,” said Kayesi.

He says although he reported the matter to the anti-fraud department at DCI on January 16, 2014, they proved unhelpful. He then walked to Platinum offices to complain and to demand his refund.

“They were adamant to explain to me how they got my documents, which I believe are forged. When they realised I was serious, a staffer promised me it will be refunded within a day and truly, I received the money from a personal phone number through M-Pesa,” said Kayesi.

Another complainant, Kenneth Kibuti Mbogo, pasted his complaint on Platinum Credit’s Facebook page on May 16, 2015.

“My name is Kenneth Kibuti Mbogo ID No 27355… I hereby complain that your company is deducting money from my salary with a claim I took a loan from you. This is a serious offence because I didn’t even get a single coin for my salary. This matter should be dealt with immediately before a step is taken. Thank you.”

According to Nicholas Muthaka, the head of customer experience at Platinum, Kayesi applied for the loan but cancelled it before money was released.

“The claim that they had never applied for a loan is inaccurate,” said Muthaka, who promised to make available to us the application documents.

Mandere was furious when he heard that Platinum says he applied for the loan. He says he only got to know of Platinum through the deductions.

Responding on Mbogo, Muthaka said they found that there was a deduction from such a customer’s pay slip for another institution that was erroneously booked for and paid to Platinum by the employer.

“This was refunded and the deduction corrected to the right institution as they had no loan with us,” said Muthaka.

When Saturday Standard contacted the BFIU, an officer promised to look for the file but after two weeks, he told us he was being transferred.

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