Ugandans have been warned against dealing with unlicensed Money Lenders who are taking advantage of them, during these COVID times.
The warning was sounded by Peter Emong, the Executive Director Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA), the organ mandated to regulate, license, and supervise all the Tier IV Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders in Uganda.
While addressing reporters at Uganda Media Centre on Monday morning, Emong warned that they have finalized plans to launch enforcement operations against all money lenders operating outside the law.
The Authority was established by section 6 of the Tier IV Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016. The Act applies to Money Lenders, SACCOs, Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions, and Self-Help Groups.
According to Emong, it has come to their attention that some unlicensed individuals are conducting money lending business in total disregard of the provisions of the law.
He noted that Section.84 of the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016 prohibits anyone from conducting money lending business without a license.
“The Authority would like to inform the general public that Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016 is now effective. The Authority has noted with concern the mushrooming unlicensed money lenders around the country conducting business in defiance of the sections under the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act, 2016 and accompanying regulations” Emong said.
Adding that the illegal money lending companies are taking advantage of desperate people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to cheat them.
“We are informing the general public that the Authority has finalized plans to launch enforcement operations against all those operating outside the law.” He encouraged borrowers to transact business with only LICENSED money lenders to avoid being cheated.