Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Deputy Resident District Commissioner Kiruhura has ordered police to crack down on illegal money lenders.
The order stems from increasing complaints in which many borrowers continue to lose property to illegal money lenders. The directive comes barely a day after a team from the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority convened a stakeholder meeting amid reports that unlicensed money lenders are mistreating borrowers in the district.
The meeting with borrowers was prompted by complaints to Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, the State Minister for Microfinance. They accused money lenders of grabbing their land for allegedly defaulting.
Nicholas Kamukama, the deputy RDC says that it is unfortunate that money lenders in the district have become a threat and gone to the extent of arresting and torturing borrowers who fail to pay.
Several borrowers told Kamukama about one money lender Sheikh Muhoozi Abusiragi, the Director of Simuka Tukore Money Lending Institution Limited who allegedly arrests his clients and assaults them over alleged defaulting.
Kamukama says that he has already ordered for the arrest of Abusiragi.
Muhoozi, however, denies any wrongdoing but admits to be operating without a license claiming that he was ignorant about the need to have one.
Nelson Mutatina, a manager at the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority says that the tier 4 Microfinance institutions and money lenders act, 2016 as well as the regulations banned signing of sale agreements.
He advises all those involved in money lending businesses to apply for licenses.
According to the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority, 224 institutions have been licensed to carry out money lending businesses. These include Moneylenders and Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions.