Farmers must just pay back the money
One good example of bad entitlement is what some farmers are trying to do by not paying back what they owe Agribank. If it is true that some of the loans the bank has embarked on recovering dates back to 10 years, then those who are claiming that the drought has dashed their chances of paying back must stop making excuses.
The Agribank chief executive ofﬁ cer Sakaria Nghikembua is right to say that the loans must be paid back so that other farmers can beneﬁ t. This is like a revolving fund where the money that is given out is returned with a bit of interest and then it is passed on to others. The biggest problem with most of us after independence has always been the thinking that we are entitled to free money and free everything.
There is no doubt that most if not all of the farmers did not use the money meant for their farms on other luxuries such as expensive cars. This cannot be ruled out because it has happened before and it will happen again. What the farmers need to do is understand that the economy is on one knee at the moment. They also need to understand that there is nothing like free money.
Furthermore, they need to understand that the land they are wasting should be put to good use and drive the economy. Agribank has every right to demand that the farmers must pay back regardless of the reasons behind the non-payment.
In any case, the farmers should have approached the bank when they realised that they had hit a dry patch and not to wait until debt collectors came knocking on their doors. We agree with Nghikembua when he says that half a billion is a lot of money that go a long way to fund productive people who have farming in their blood. The farmers must understand that a loan is a loan and that it must be paid back.
There is no reason why a few farmers must hold the bank at ransom just because they failed to pay back. There might be farmers with genuine reasons for not paying, but the question is: why did they not approach the bank earlier when they realised that things were not working out?
It also does not make much sense for the farmers to demand a meeting with Nghikembua as a group because they did not borrow the money as a collective. Each one of them has their own reasons for nonpayment and so they should present their cases individually. They must just pay them back the money