Kenya: Activist Boniface Mwangi Caught in Loan Tussle

6 December 2021

Activist Boniface Mwangi has shared his surprise after receiving a call from an unknown number only for the caller to claim he was indebted to a loan company as an emergency contact.

In a video seen by Nairobi News, the photojournalist is heard in a phone conversation with a lady who introduces herself as a representative of Zash loan company.

The caller insists a man by the name of Vincent took a loan from the company and failed to repay it in due time. This forced her to contact the Mwangi, who is listed as an emergency contact.

"Is this legal? A stranger takes a loan, puts your name and number as the 'emergency contact', then before you know it, Zash Cash calls you and demands you help them get their loan paid," posted Mr. Mwangi on his social media pages, as he shared the video.

Mwangi, a self-proclaimed people's watchman, has been actively advocating for people's rights in society. He is a photojournalist, politician, and activist involved in social-political activism, best known for his coverage of the post-election violence that hit Kenya in 2007 and 2008.

Mwangi quit journalism after witnessing and documenting post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 as a newspaper photographer.

He has, in a number of interviews, shared how he experienced post-traumatic stress and depression, as he was also directly affected by having to move temporarily after people in his community were being threatened.

The photojournalist was also frustrated he had to cover the same politicians that had incited the violence but remained unpunished.

Mwangi's experience with the moneylender highlights what is fast becoming a challenge in Kenya, with banks and lender apps randomly reaching out to people with demands of payment and threats of auctioning of property.

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