The Commissioner General, Uganda Prisons Services, Johnson Byabashaija has admitted to being a victim of Shs350m bank loan “fraud”, a scheme that seems to be sinking many Ugandans into debt.
Byabashaija made the shocking revelation on Twitter while engaging in a debate by Makerere University Business School Lecturer, Ramathan Ggoobi who had called on President Museveni to rein over commercial banks, accusing the financial institutions of swindling clients of their property.
Ggoobi wrote, “Mr. President, for years we’ve decried predatory lending by banks (structuring loans in a way that makes it difficult for borrowers to repay. The intention? To seize borrower’s usually more valuable collateral. Don’t blame the banks; do something about their regulatory framework.”
In response Byabashaija wrote, “True!!! I borrowed Shs350m recently ( 2016) to be repaid over a 10 year period. I just realized am to pay back over Shs700m including interest. Incredible!!. Just next to impossible.”
The remarks were in response to a letter authored by Museveni, asking Governor Bank of Uganda- Emmanuel Tusiime to engage with management of Housing Finance Bank to ensure that property of Ida May Kwesigwa isn’t sold off by the Bank but allowed 2months to clear up her loan.
A number of social media users were shocked that even top officials in Government like Prisons boss Byabashaija haven’t survived the wrath of Banks.
Edward Tenwa wondered when Byabashaija realised the fraudulent terms of his loan, “Afande, when you say, “…just realised…”, is it to suggest you received and utilised the money before reading the loan terms and agreeing to them?”
Byabashaija replied, “Didn’t realize at the time of borrowing, because I badly needed the money then!!!”
Another Social media user, James Lugoloobi, asked, “Afande, you also get loans?”
The Prison boss replied, “True, otherwise our businesses can’t survive.”
Maurice Elagu wondered why Byabashaija didn’t borrow money from Prison’s Sacco which would have saved him the pain from the bank, “Very unethical behaviour by the banks and the regulator. Otherwise I hope the prisons Sacco is vibrant for the infantry staff.”
The Prison Boss revealed that the Institution’s Sacco can only allow the saver to borrow 3 times their savings at a time.