A court has ordered the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to pay a lawyer Sh10 million for erroneously blacklisting her as a loan defaulter.
Justice James Makau also ordered Helb to apologise to Eunice Ng’ang’a in two national newspapers for causing her embarrassment and tarnishing her reputation.
“This Court takes judicial notice to the fact that whoever is ever listed by any of the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) following an adverse information or report cannot be taken as a person worthy granting a loan or doing business with otherwise. The person loses all respect and dignity,” Justice Makau said.
“I am alive to the fact that an adverse report from CRB is not a light joke and no prudent business person would go about giving a loan or entering into a business contract with someone who has an adverse report from CRB.”
Ms Ng’ang’a had applied for a Helb loan in 1995 but she was not successful. Interestingly, the board later sent Sh8,000 to Maseno University as a loan meant for Ng’ang’a’s studies even though Ng’ang’a never joined the institution in the first place.
Helb kept quiet about the loan for 21 years. The agency argued that its rules require a loanee to start repayment of monies advanced to him or her one year after completing studies.
It claimed that it pursued Ng’ang’a several times between 1999 and 2016, asking her to pay the Sh8,000 but she was evasive.