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Businessman in Sh24 debt loses bid to delist firm from CRB

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The owner of the company that was listed in the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) for defaulting to offset a Sh24 debt has lost the bid to have Ecobank pay him damages for alleged defamation.

Charles Gitundu Mwangi, the proprietor of Rural Technology Enterprises Ltd was listed on the CRB in December 2013 after he failed to convince the High Court that the information provided by Ecobank to CRB was defamatory and caused his company losses.

Mwangi told the court that the information that the bank relayed to the CRB was a ploy to paint Rural Technology as a broke company without financial integrity and without capability to meet financial obligations after Justice Maureen Odero faulted him for leaving his coperate dormant for three years hence attracting bank charges.

“I find that although it may have been petty for the bank to forward the company’s name to CRB for a debt of only Sh24, it was certainly not illegal or unprocedural for the lender to do so. The account was in debit and no matter how small the amount, the money was owed to the bank.” Justice Odero said.

Evidence presented in court shows that Mr Mwangi opened the account in 2010, deposited Sh3,000 and a cheque of Sh10,000 then he went quiet without any activity in the account until his firm was listed on the CRB in December 2013 over Sh24 debt.

But Mwangi claimed that he never borrowed any loan from the bank meaning it was wrong for them to forward information about his company to CRB for ‘allegedly’ defaulting to settle the loan.
He was however faulted for failing to check on the status of his firm’s account regularly and for ignoring the alerts from the to settle the small charges but he argued that his company was never officially notified about the debt and has never been granted an opportunity to pay it.

“The account was in credit when I opened it and the statements issued by the bank show that no withdrawals were made. In fact, the lender was the sole beneficiary of the company’s money by charging maintenance fees,” he said.

 


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