The Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board has bought a K89 million Land Cruiser TX for its executive director as many university students in Malawi are struggling to get loans.
According to reports, the board has already paid the money to Toyota Malawi for the vehicle to be used by Executive Director for the Board Chris Chisoni – a former critic of government who usually spoke against abuse of public funds.
Last year, the board also came under fire after it paid K17 million for the printing of forms and diaries.
Ironically, the loan forms are not distributed to applicants but are downloadable on the Loans Board website.
Apart from giving loans to students, the board also recovers money from former students who were given loans for the studies. Last year, the board said it had recovered K350 million.
Currently, a lot of underprivileged university students in Malawi are failing to access loans from the loans board due to what the board usually say is lack of funds.
Some students are still studying in universities because well-wishers paid their fees. Social commentator Onjezani Kenani usually mobilises funds for needy university students through his Facebook page.
He wrote on Monday that in the past four days he had received nine requests for financial assistance.
Kenani however noted that relying on well-wishers is not sustainable and does not replace avenues such as the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board.
“I have to make this clear because in the last four days I have received nine requests for financial assistance, and all the cases sound compelling. I am sorry it is not possible to assist all. We rely on the kindness of others, and I think eventually those who assist will be tired of assisting. I hope all cases are brought to the attention of the Loans Board accordingly for more sustainable help,” he said.