Malawi Enterprise Development Fund to sue ‘politically motivated’  loan defaulters

The Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) has said it is taking legal action in order to recover money from politically motivated defaulters,   Chief Operations Officer, Dingiswayo Jere has said  in an interview.

“The greatest challenge we are currently facing is to get repayments from some loans as old as five years back that were not properly appraised before the disbursement.

“Most of these loans were disbursed based on some political interests that ended up being misconstrued by the clients as gifts by some Politicians,” said Jere without disclosing the total amount on default.

He said MEDF was trying to address the problem by engaging those politicians to understand that the money was not a gift but meant to benefit Malawians.

However, Jere said very few were understanding and were repaying with many not cooperative hence they are being taken through the legal processes by engaging the courts.

“The bottom line is, this is government’s money meant to be a revolving fund.  Of course, it is ironical if a Politician fails to pay and yet they are supposed to support the government’s program.

“If a politician gets a loan and doesn’t pay, they are sabotaging the government’s program as what this means is that they are saying, “let this program not continue,” he stated.

The chief operations officer described the high demand of loan products as a positive development admitting his office was grappling to meet the demand and has since asked government to intervene by giving MEDF more funds.

“We are engaging the government to give us more capital funds besides asking other partners that can put money into MEDF as we are running the office as purely a Micro-finance that is commercial and is supposed to bring dividends to government,” he hinted.

Jere said as a government owned Micro-Finance institution targeting the non-bankable clients who cannot access finances from the commercial banks they are such people frequenting MEDF for loans.

He further said MEDF observes non-biasness in disbursing its loans in order to meet its objectives of providing financial assistance in the form of loan capital to micro and small scale enterprises in urban and rural areas in Malawi.

“Objectively, we address challenges facing the youth in Malawi by providing them with knowledge, essential skills, competencies and opportunities to engage in micro, small and medium enterprises as a self-employment mechanism,” he said.

He said MEDF has 15 branches in all the 193 political constituencies that qualify it as the largest money lending institution with nearly five milion applicants monthly.

“Let them repay the loans which they still owe MEDF before they are taken to courts, because no-one will be spared as everybody appreciates that a revolving loan is meant to reach many,” he emphasized.

MEDF formerly MARDEF changed in 2014 through a formal legal process to operate as micro-finance institution in the country.

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