Kirinyaga Coffee Farmers Get Sh640 Million Debt Waiver

About 14, 000 small scales coffee farmers in Kirinyaga County have benefited from the Sh640 million government debt waiver.

The farmers owed the millions through the Fortune Sacco which has now confirmed that the process of offsetting the loans was almost complete.

The Sacco Chief Executive Officer, Charles Kimotho, said about 98 per cent of the funds to effect the waiver had been received.

We have since discharged the farmers of the debts and most of those who had deposited their land tittle deeds with us as security had the documents returned to them, he said.

The official, however, said the remaining two per cent represented about 14 million the government should remit to the Sacco in order to close the files.

Other funds amounting to about Sh300 million was channeled through the then Kirinyaga District Cooperative Union (now Kirinyaga County Union), from where some farmers had obtained the loans.

Union Manager, Henry Njiru, said the farmers had obtained the loans from the collapsed Union Banking Section which the government has now assisted to offset.

The debt waiver funds were channeled through Fortune Sacco and through our Union with each entity receiving the amount which was due from the farmers, he said.

But one farmer, Kathuri Machuka, claimed that even after the debt was cleared through the government waiver program, the land tittle deed he had used to secure the loan was still being withheld.

Am blaming Fortune Sacco for continuing to withhold my tittle deed despite the government having cleared all our loans through the debt waiver program, he claimed.

But Kimotho dismissed the claims as unfounded and lies, saying Mr. Machuka was hesitant to pay the discharge fees as stipulated in the cooperative Act.

Kimotho said the farmers who had obtained from between Sh50, 000 to S.5 million loans used their land tittle deeds as security.

I am surprised most of these farmers have since cleared the mandatory paper work related to loans and given back their tittle deeds, the official said.

Source: Kenya News Agency