By HARRIET MUGO
A big controversy has hit the Hustler Fund after it emerged that one can only borriow a maximum of Sh50,000/- at a cost of 8% interest rate per year.
The ability to borrow money from the fund will also be determined by the borrowers’ credit score.
Individuals will be required to be above the age of 18 years and hold a Kenyan identification card to qualify for the loans
They should also be members of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), SACCO societies, Chama and table banking groups, or any other registered association.
During his inaugural speech, Ruto pledged to implement the Hustler Fund, dedicated to the capitalization of SMEs to make credit available on affordable terms that do not require collateral.
“The implementation of the Administration’s signature pledge is tipped to liberate the people of Kenya from the bond of predatory lending,” read the statement from Statehouse.
The funds will be administered by a Chief Executive Officer who will be obligated to open and operate such bank accounts with the approval of the Board and the National Treasury; as well as supervise and control the day-to-day administration of the Fund.
The Hustler Fund CEO who will be appointed by the Treasury CS will also ensure that he transmits to the Auditor-General statement of accounts relating to the Fund and shows the expenditure incurred from the Fund each financial year.
Treasury also outlined four offences that will see Kenyans fined up to Sh10 million or an alternative jail term of five years if committed.
The offences include misappropriation of funds, failure to give information, or falsifying information while applying for the fund will attract penalties.
However some Kenyans have argued that the maximum amount being offered was too little and the interest too high.
Some dismissed the fund as another “fuliza” administered by government.