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Loan sharks tormenting us, say women

CENTRAL
By Peter Mburu | August 16th 2016
A group of women demonstrate in Karatina Town on August 14, 2016, to condemn Shylock Traders in the town after an exclusive expose by the Sunday Standard on how they deceive them to take hefty interest loans. (PHOTO: KIBATA KIHU/STANDARD)

Women have condemned the continued harassment by loan sharks in the county.

The women staged a protest at Karatina Stadium on Sunday, claiming the loan sharks were colluding with police officers to arrest borrowers who were unable to repay their loans and, in some cases, seizing their property without court orders.

The protest was in reaction to an exposé by The Standard on Sunday on how loan sharks were harassing desperate women in villages in Mathira.

Mary Wambui, 29, said a Karatina-based loan shark trailed her to the Intensive Care Unit at Karatina Level Four Hospital where her one-year-old son had been admitted with pneumonia to demand money.

LIife support

She said the loan shark demanded the money that relatives and friends had donated for her child’s hospitalisation.

Ms Wambui said her son had been put on life support but the loan shark wanted her to accompany him to her home to recover his money, saying she was using the hospital to hide from him.

“I was rescued by the doctor on duty who intervened and told them that I could not leave my child unattended because his condition was critical,” she said.

Mary Githuku, the chairperson of Asesdo, a Karatina group, complained that many women in Karatina had been tormented by loan sharks to the point of fleeing their homes.

“A woman in Kiaruhiu village whose husband had a stroke ran away from her home because of constant attacks by the loan sharks. Nobody knows where she went and her husband is now helpless,” said Ms Githuku.

The women called on county leaders to intervene and save their homes. They said they needed a solution on how they could get low interest loans as this would save them from loan sharks.

“Our leaders should help us now because these people will finish our homes. Marriages are breaking up every day. They need to step in,” appealed Githuku.

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