We must shame & boycott banks that are auctioning property during Covid-19 crisis (Pulse Opinion)

The Covid-19 crisis has revealed many heroes in the Kenyan society.

Garam Investments to auction Jeff Koinange's homes

They include, and not limited to, our medical professionals, the support staff including cleaners and security team in our hospitals, as well as the millions of well wishers who have donated to their friends and relatives who have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

However, not everyone has been a hero and we must call out and shame entities that have shown zero compassion to Kenyans who have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are Kenyan banks that have used this crisis to demonstrate their complete poverty in compassion and their unrelenting greed that would put hyenas to shame.

The banking sector is one of the most profitable and has over the years generated huge returns for bank investors.

It is unfathomable that despite this record of profit making over the past decades, a number of banks are now filling our advertisement spaces with notices of auction from their customers who are afflicted by an indisputable global pandemic.

It is a national shame that the auction business is witnessing a boom at a time when most Kenyans have been left without a livelihood for the past four months.

Some local banks have gone to the extent of investing their money in car yards and mechanical equipment that will enable them maximum profit from the cars they will be repossessing from that struggling taxi driver who had been repaying his loan until the coronavirus hit.

Kenyans must shame and boycott those financial institutions that have been filling the classifieds sections with notices of auction.

The Kenyan government, with all its might and resources, was quick to renegotiate loan repayments for its mega debt owed to international institutions.

If the government can be allowed to make such an arrangement, why not extend the same to the ordinary lenders with a few months grace period until the economy picks up?

If some landlords waived rent payments for tenants and some gave discounts why should institutions like banks subject Kenyans who have been loyal clients to such humiliations?

Typically under borrowing agreements, the failure to meet the obligations to repay a loan or mortgage facility constitutes an event of default invoking a lender’s right to exercise its remedies towards recovery of the entire outstanding debt.

Even with this in mind banking institutions can exercise patience since the country is going through a pandemic and we are yet to flatten the curve and revive the economy which has been hard hit by coronavirus.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicates that the property market has been recording the highest growth in non-performing loans (NPLs) with no respite in the current economic climate.

It is time that the government steps in and shields Kenyans from being thrown out of their homes or losing their property during this pandemic.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the position of the company

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