Schools reopening: Teachers flee schools over loans

Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU is worried about multiple loans acquired by teachers from financial institutions, most of which unpaid which have in turn led to teachers fleeing school premises as schools reopen.

Alfred Katurebe the UNATU National chairperson Kabale District says that it has been established that hundreds of teachers are fleeing school premises as money lenders stage to arrest them for defaulting loans.

Katurebe says, the biggest challenge has been the failure by the teachers to understand the interest rates of the loans before they sign documents.

He added that this year, Kabale district has registered more than 10 cases of teachers complaining that financial firms had unremittingly cut off their salaries yet they have done with clearing their loans.

Speaking with Kabale district UNATU delegates at Janani Kamuganguzi secondary school while commemorating World Teachers’ Day on Monday, the Kabale district acting education Officer Moses Tumwijukye Bwengye asked teachers to shun away from accessing multiple loans from financial firms if they are to develop their families and better future life.

Bwengye added that these financial institutions especially Bay port, Platinum Credit and Letshego which currently operate in Kabale are targeting to pinch teachers by charging them a lot of fixed charges.

According to report that was released by UNATU in 2018 April teachers in the districts of Mbarara, Ntungamo Ibanda, Bushenyi, Mitooma, Sheema,Kabale,Rukungiri,Kisoro,Kanungu among others had resorted to absenteeism because of fear of being arrested.

Last month, Parliament tasked the Finance Ministry to investigate Platinum Credit Limited and Bayport for alleged exploitation of borrowers. The financial firms offers Short term Loans, medium-term loans, long term loans and Education Protection Policy – Credit Life Cover among others to mostly civil servants.

However, there have been persistent complaints from borrowers implicating the companies of making deductions from their accounts even after servicing their loans fully while on some occasions borrowers end up paying more than double what they borrowed.

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