Malawi Police in Chikwawa on Monday locked up a pastor for a K1.2 million debt his wife accumulated from a women’s village bank but she failed to pay back and is now on the run.
According to Police, the 49 year old Isaac Siyani, a Lutheran Evangelical pastor at Ngabu in Chikwawa was arrested on Monday and released on Tuesday after a magistrates court ordered him to pay the loan on behalf of his wife.
The wife, according to the police, was treasurer of the group and allegedy used the money to prop up her maize business.
The police said church members contributed the money – the church way – and the pastor has since paid off all the debt.
In Rumphi, police say the high rate of suicides in the district is as a result of debts obtained from the so called village banks which are pushing unsuspecting people in huge debts forcing them fail to provide for their families.
Criminal investigations officer at Rumphi police said there were 30 suicides in 2015 most of them involving young men who left suicide notes indicating they took away their lives because of financial hardships after taking loans from the village banks.
He said some people cannot withstand the humiliation of having their property confiscated or having their house roofs taken off to force them repay the loan.
In Dedza, women village bank members have reported to police after one of their members bolted with K500000 which they were supposed to share after a year long saving.
Officials from micro loan lending institutions said there was need for civic education on the use of the money saying some people use the money for consumption instead of production forcing them fail repay the loans.
In some instances, the officials say, some people take three or four loans from different lending village groups thereby choking their ability to pay.
Nyasa Times can confirm some women are forced into prostitution to raise money to pay back to the groups.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :