Some retirees from Tsintsabis neighborhoods in the Oshikoto region are wallowing in poverty due to excessive debt advanced by businessmen at monthly pay points.
This often results in retirees returning home with nothing after settling their debts, forcing them to seek more credit.
“I am worried for the well-being of my people, they are trapped in debt, to the point that they pay and borrow again with nothing to support themselves,” said Tsintsabis chief Paul Geigowas.
He said some businessmen swindle and manipulate elders to get goods on credit and not pay until the next month. However, it has become unsustainable because the products are very expensive. According to the chief, they would be charged up to 300 Namibian dollars for a 10 kg bag of maize flour.
Most of the victims are members of the San community who also lack financial understanding.
Community member Moses // Khumub echoed similar sentiments, saying this trade has gotten out of hand as these ruthless businessmen continue to suck on the small retirement allowance.
The monthly pension allowance is N $ 1,300.
“What these people are doing is daytime robbery, how can you charge such a large amount by giving a loan of N $ 800 and more to a retiree. How do you expect them to pay it back with the little money they get, and if they pay what they have left? Therefore, I call on these people to be considerate, ”// Khumub said.
Another member, a government employee who declined to be named, said he saw this happen a lot on paydays where salespeople ambush retirees and take all their money, leaving them with nothing.
“Just last week, an elderly lady had her entire grant of N $ 2,600 taken away by the businessman from Farm 6, which was done in the presence of a treasurer. He only had 200 Namibian dollars left, ”he said, adding that the worst part was that a few days later they found children in his house eating sand, due to hunger.
“It was very sad to see these children eating sand as a last resort to survive. I ask if these business scammers can be banned and prohibited from cornering people on pay days because I feel like they are taking advantage of it, ”the official said.
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