The Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board has recovered K27.5 million in the first three months of the one year period to recover K1.7 billion loans which former students of University of Malawi (Unima) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) owe government.
The board’s executive director Chris Chisoni said in a telephone interview yesterday the money has been recovered between April and June this year from 2 700 former students who studied at the institutions between 1985 and 2012. Mzuni was opened in 1998.
He said out of the 2 700 who have paid include some from the public sector, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and a few from the Diaspora.
Chisoni said the board is now left to recover K1.672 billion and was pleased with the progress over the past three months.
He said: “The progress is inspiring considering that the recovery has just started and there is a mentality that Malawians do not like paying back loans. We are engaging employers and we are happy that some both in the public and private sectors, have come out with names of their employees who went through the public financing programme and are at the moment discussing payment modalities.”
Chisoni said the board has also identified 22 000 civil servants owing government student loans.
The board, established under a 2015 Act of Parliament, set 12 months starting from April 2016 to recover loans borrowed between 1985 and 2012 which are deemed mature. The outstanding loans were granted to the beneficiaries under students’ loan schemes which government introduced during the 1985/86 university education calendar.
Director of loans at the board, Emma Tambala, in an earlier interview, said government embarked on the recovery to collect the public funds to finance the upcoming loans for needy students in higher education institutions. n