The Higher Education Loans Board in Kenya has finally seen the light. In what appears to be a Zacchaeus moment, the Board has promised to refund all the money it stole from non-beneficiaries who were forced to seek for compliance certificates when looking for jobs.
For years, HELB has been forcing people who did not know that it existed to part with KShs 1000 so that it can grant them compliance certificates. Never mind these were the people who possibly never went to college and never took any loan from HELB. However, HELB still insisted that they had to pay as a penalty for not taking loans with them.
The outright theft which was supported by all available legal frameworks was a cash cow to HELB, but it seems that the good old Board has seen the light. They will now start refunding double the amount they had stolen, in keeping up with what Zacchaeus in the Bible did when he saw the light.
The head of corporate communication at HELB said that the organization was aligning the values it practiced with what they give in their service delivery charter, hence the repentant move. “We cannot continue stealing from innocent Kenyans yet we have promised not to steal too much.”
Those eligible for refunds will start receiving their money back from September 2120.