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Digital loan apps terrorise desperate Kenyans, but help is on ...

World

Digital loan apps terrorise desperate Kenyans, but help is on the way

Loaners use illegally obtained personal data to threaten borrowers, but government is moving to curb violations

Nita Bhalla and Dominic Kirui

The 14 days given to John Bigingi to repay a loan of 8,200 Kenyan shillings (R1,110) had barely lapsed when he started receiving text messages threatening to call the contacts on his phone and expose him as a defaulter.

“Silence means you don’t want to pay your loan which is already due,” said an SMS sent by digital lender iPesa to Bigingi.

“Take it serious. Your 50 contacts and emergency contacts will start receiving 20 calls and 15 messages (at) exactly 6pm. Pay now to avoid embarrassment!!!” read the message, which was written in capital letters...

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