Thursday saw the official launch of the Caritas Microfinance (MFI) Bank in Nairobi. Caritas MFB, which is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, was licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya in June 2015. It has since mobilized almost Kshs 400 million in deposits and advanced Kshs 250 million of loans.
Caritas plans to go from having two branches, now serving 10,000 customers, to five by year-end and increase its authorized agent network from 16 to 50. Already 70% transactions are done using mobile banking and through a partnership with Cooperative Bank, Caritas customers can use Coop Bank ATM’s and visa cards for purchases and this will enable another potential 100,000 “unbanked and under-banked” members of 200 self-help groups in Nairobi and Kiambu counties to access formal banking services.
MFI’s were excluded from the interest cap law of 2016. Other deposit-taking microfinance bank institutions include Choice, Daraja, Ideal (formerly REMU), Maisha, SMEP, Sumac, U&I, and Uwezo. Larger ones include KWFT and Faulu as well as the Chase Bank-owned Rafiki MFI that was quite large and growing fast. It is independent of Chase Bank but a lot of its future growth is dependent on the outcome of the Chase receivership.
Screen grab of the Tuko.Co.Ke video
There was this fantastic story on Tuko website about huge donations that were made to a Church on behalf of the President and the Deputy President.
They were each said to have given 34 million shillings in a video shows the Governor of Narok county presenting an envelope with the cash. He also gave 6.8 million of his own, and another 3.4 million from another governor.
The sum of 34 million is incredible. Indeed, it is almost the same amount as the equally implausible claim of 40 million from NYS that Josephine Kabura says she carried out of a bank hall on more than one occasion.
So what’s more likely?. I though it may have been a donation in Tanzania as Narok county borders Tanzania. But a different story by Citizen TV of the same event notes that the Kenyan contingent donated a sum of 82.6 million shillings in support of the Ugandan Church in Sebei, Kapchorwa District.
If the donations were in Uganda shillings (UGX), not Kenya shillings (KES) then that makes more sense, and tallies with the video clip that shows the size of the cash bundles, and is more realistic in terms of the usual donations that leaders are reported to make. 34 million Uganda shillings is equal to about 1 million Kenya shillings, UGX 6.8 million equals KES 200,000, and UGX 3.4 million is equal to about KES 100,000. There’s no clear mention of the currency (whether Kenya shillings or Uganda shillings) in the video and it’s likely that the Governor translated the equivalent in Uganda shillings for the congregation while presenting the Kenya shillings donation to the Church.
$1 = KES 101, $1= UGX 3,500, 1 KES = UGX 34.