Factors Influencing the Establishment of Micro-finance Schemes in Kenya

This study on Micro Finance in Kenya was a  conducted and published in 2002. While some of its findings have been passed by events, many of it’s findings are very valid for the micro finance sector in Kenya today. Dowload the rest of the study here

Factors Influencing the Establishment of Micro-finance Schemes in Kenya


Dr. George Ondego K’Aol and Richard Ochanda

United States International University – Africa (USIU-A), P.O Box 14634 Nairobi, Kenya

Telephone 254-2-3606000, Fax 254-2-3606100, E-mail gkaol@usiu.ac.ke


Small Business Institute Journal, 2002


The purpose of this study was to determine the major factors that influence the establishment and sustainability of micro finance schemes in Kenya. The study was guided by the following research questions: (1) What policies regulate micro finance Schemes in Kenya? (2) What are the major implementation issues affecting micro finance schemes in Kenya? (3) What are the major factors affecting the sustainability of micro finance schemes in Kenya?

Primary data were collected from thirty micro-finance institutions in Nairobi, Kenya. The institutions included Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), Faulu Kenya, Pride-Africa and Kenya Rural Enterprise Program (K-REP) among others. Structured questionnaires were administered to the managers and the program administrators in these institutions.

The findings of this study revealed that there were no clear policies regulating micro finance institutions (MFIs) in Kenya. The findings indicated that most micro finance institutions were registered under different Acts of Parliament. The findings also revealed that some of the MFIs had more than one registration while others had not been registered at all. On implementation issues, the results indicated that the most commonly implemented MFI design was the solidarity group. However, few MFIs were extending loans to individuals. Most MFIs were taking deposits to cushion the risks associated with non-repayment of loans. With regard to sustainability, the study revealed that there were a few MFIs which had attained financial sustainability as a result of their sound financial cost control and provision of quality portfolios. However, a number of MFIs had not attained financial sustainability and were relying on subsidies from donors.


Have you seen my children?

INSET: Dorothy’s children, Cynthia and Brian, in a photo taken before they disappeared. Eight years ago, Dorothy’s children were taken away without her consent, and hasn’t been heard of since. PHOTO |  Tom Otieno
INSET: Dorothy’s children, Cynthia and Brian, in a photo taken before they disappeared. Eight years ago, Dorothy’s children were taken away without her consent, and hasn’t been heard of since. PHOTO | Tom Otieno
Nation By PAUL OGEMBA pogemba@ke.nationmedia.comPosted Tuesday, March 1 2011 at 18:00


  • She came home one day, eight years ago, only to find that her two children had disappeared.


Eight years ago, someone she trusted stole her children, left the country, and has not been heard of since then.

It has been an agonising eight long years for 38 year old Dorothy Andeyo Ayuma, who has never had a fitful night since her children disappeared. Not a day goes by without this mother thinking about her children, and wondering how they are – or whether they are even alive.

That dark day when she arrived home to find an empty house is still clearly etched in her mind, and often replays itself with unforgiving clarity whenever she finds herself alone.

It was in May 2003. Dorothy was working with a mining company in Tanzania, and had left her twin children, Brian and Cynthia Marabu, then 11 years, in the care of her mother-in-law, Josephine Ablandina Miura.

Her mother-in-law comes from Switzerland, but had married a Kenyan, and settled down in Malindi, where she had lived for many years.

“This was my second year in Tanzania, and I was due to visit my children in June. However, sometime in May, someone told me that my mother-in-law had already flown out of the country with my children,” Dorothy explains.

Alarmed at the news, she took the next bus to Kenya to verify for herself whether this was indeed true. It was.

“I nearly went mad. I was confused, I was in so much pain, I did not even know where to begin,” she says, trying to contain her tears of sadness.

Falling in love

The only girl in a family of five, Dorothy was brought up in Nairobi, where her parents worked, although their rural home is in Luanda, Western Kenya.

She met the father of her children, Karisa Marabu, in 1987, at Mundia Mixed High School in Thika, where they were both form four students. Karisa was 19 years, while Dorothy was 17.

“Karisa was so charming, masculine, handsome, and humorous. I couldn’t resist him, and agreed to be his girlfriend,” Dorothy says of her late husband.

After high school, Dorothy says she joined Premier College, in Nairobi, where she studied secretarial courses, telephone operations and French for two years. In 1990, after a three-year courtship, the couple married under customary law.

“After Karisa paid dowry to my parents, we moved to Malindi, where I got a job in one of the hotels as a receptionist,” she explains.

Karisa’s mother, Josephine, had a big house in Malindi, which they moved into.

“She was a good mother-in-law and we got along well. She treated me like her own child and complimented me in everything I did. She was loving, caring, and understanding.”

Her mother-in-law was well-to-do, and owned some businesses in Malindi, but occasionally travelled to her homeland in Switzerland.

In 1992, Dorothy and Karisa were blessed with twins, a boy they named Brian Marabu and a girl, Cynthia Marabu.

“After we got married, I yearned for a child, therefore giving birth to twins was a great joy. I still remember how it felt to hold them in my arms for the first time – the warmth, relief and satisfaction I experienced was indescribable. I have never felt such elation,” she recalls.

When she talks about her children, the pain in her voice is evident. Occassionally, she sighs, and at that moment, you can tell that she’s forgotten that we’re there.

As fate would have it, the young couple did not enjoy life together for a long time. Even the wedding they had planned in 1994 to cement their marriage did not come to pass.

“It happened so fast. In December 1993, Karisa and a cousin of his were involved in an accident as they were travelling to Mombasa from Malindi. He was badly injured, and was rushed to hospital. Despite efforts by doctors to save him, he died, due to what doctors later explained was a brain fracture,” says Dorothy.

Left to bring up two young children, she decided to continue staying with her mother-in-law, because they comforted each other and she assisted in taking care of the twins.

“After my husband’s death, my mother-in-law continued to treat me well. In her, I had someone to share my grief with and a shoulder to lean on,” she explains

However, their perfect relationship changed a year later. Dorothy say that Josephine started mistreating her. Not a day went by without a quarrel coming between them.

“She would accuse me of being a burden to her, and abuse me, irrespective of who was around, even though I did everything for my children, and did not ask her for assistance. I paid their school fees, bought them clothes, gifts and anything they wanted,” she says, adding that she only took care of them when Dorothy was at work.

She says that the love she still felt for her late husband would not allow her to remarry, even though she was still young. Instead, she threw all her energy into taking care of her children.

Dorothy continued working at the Hotel until 2001, when she got better paying job in Tanzania, in a mining company.

“I left my children under the care of my mother-in-law and brother-in-law, because I did not want to disrupt their learning. I would send money every month for their upkeep and took leave twice a year to be with them,” she explains.

In spite of her strained relationship with her mother-in-law, Dorothy says that she would never have imagined her taking her children away without her consent.

“When I came to visit the children in December 2002, she asked me whether she could take them on holiday in Switzerland. I did not object, reasoning that it would be an enjoyable experience for them. We agreed that they would travel when I come for my next visit in June 2003,” she explains.

Empty house

Dorothy says she knew something was amiss when in May that year, she received information that Josephine had already travelled to Switzerland with her children.

“I returned immediately after receiving the news, but found an empty house. She left without informing me, not even my father-in-law knew when and how they left,” she narrates.

Her father-in-law, Samuel Marabu, had divorced Josephine, and remarried. He could not help, since he had not visited his former wife’s home or even bothered to find out where she came from.

“I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do or how to begin the search for my children. I thought of following them to Switzerland, but where would I even begin?”

She sought help from friends and lawyers, but they told her they could not handle the case since there was little to go with. They advised her to wait until the children turn eighteen, consoling her that they would come back.

“People advised me to be patient, that my children had gone on holiday and would return. I waited and prayed, but it has been eight years now, yet they haven’t come back.”

Her despair and depression led to a stroke in July 2010, resulting in a paralysis of her left side. The stroke also blurred her speech. She is on the road to recovery, but has to take medication daily.

“The thought of life without my children is unbearable. My despair is so immense, it breaks me each time I open the family album to look at my children’s pictures,” she says.

She misses them so much, the album is a permanent fixture in her handbag. She cannot go anywhere without it.

“Cynthia was the brightest of the twins. In class, she was either position one or two. She resembled me so much, and reminded me of myself when I was younger. Brian resembled his father,” Dorothy recalls.

Brian was the playful one, and enjoyed experimenting with new things. He was also very inquisitive and demanded answers to all his questions.

“He was very outgoing child, and was comfortable being around people, unlike his sister, who was reserved, quiet and preferred being with either me or her grandmother,” she adds.

Even though her twin children were not identical, she says that they loved each other and enjoyed one another’s company.

Dorothy gave up her job in Tanzania soon after her children’s disappearance because she could no longer focus on her work.

Sad memories

When she returned to Malindi, she set up small businesses to occupy her mind, but the sight of the empty house she once lived in with her children made life harder. She could no longer bear it, and moved out.

“All my efforts to reach my mother-in-law have been futile. She was like a mystery in Malindi. Even her friends say they did not know which part of Switzerland she came from.”

She says that only her husband’s brother, Jan Kenga, had been to their mother’s homeland, but he too left the country in 2003.

Dorothy finally returned to her rural home in Luanda in 2007, before moving to Kisumu where she operates a clothing store.

Malindi had too many sad memories which she could no longer withstand.

What she wants and prays for everyday is to get her children back. Above all, she wants to know that they are alive and well.

“They are 19 now. Why doesn’t she return them to me? For eight years, I have not seen them, or heard from them, and it’s killing me slowly.”

She is now pleading with the Ministry of foreign affairs and the Swiss embassy to help her trace her children.

“I cannot afford to go to Switzerland. Even if I were to go, where will I begin the search?” posed Dorothy.

“My days are sad; life is not the same and I can no longer pretend to live a normal life. I keep thinking about my children, the thought of them saps the strength out of me,” a distraught Dorothy says.

“I long to be with my children, to hold them, and to let them know that I have never stopped loving them and that I think about them every day.”

Brian and Cynthia, if you’re reading this, your mother wants you to know that her greatest joy would be to hold you in her arms again.




Half century jail term for child sacrifice witchdoctor

Africa review: By GEORGE MUZOORA in Masindi, Uganda  (email the author)
Posted Wednesday, March 2 2011 at 14:18

A Ugandan High Court has sentenced a 58-year-old witchdoctor to half a century in prison over child sacrifice.

George Kabi of Nyakataama in Kiryandongo District was charged under the law; “Prevention of trafficking in persons”, which was enacted under an Act of Parliament on October 23, 2009.

The law forbids trafficking in persons, human sacrifice, removal of body organs for sale or ritual sacrifice.

Justice Ralph Ochan found that Kabi committed the offence on July 16, 2010, when he cut off the genitalia of a seven-year-old pupil of Masindi Port Primary School–Kiryandongo.

Kabi’s two co-accused, Ibrahim Mwandia and Jackson Baguma, were acquitted after the judge found that there was no evidence to connect them to the case because the victim only identified Kabi before he collapsed.

An identification parade was conducted at Masindi Prison where about 13 suspects were paraded, but the victim managed to identify Kabi, shortly before he collapsed.

Police did not conduct another identification parade when the boy recovered, leaving the judge without any option but to let the two suspects go free.

Alleged accomplices

Before making his ruling, Justice Ochan said child sacrifice was very common in society.

“I pray that the medical experts do what they can to help this boy out of this problem,” he said.

Looking at the suspect in the dock, he added: “I therefore sentence you to 50 years in prison, 50 years.”

“You have the right to appeal if you are not satisfied with the ruling,” Justice Ochan said, before ordering prison warders to move the convict out of the court chambers.

Ms Margaret Mutonyi, the assistant court registrar in Masindi, later told Uganda’s Daily Monitor that Kabi was the first person to be convicted under this law in Uganda.

She said the maximum punishment for aggravated trafficking was death.

Ms Scovia Ayebale, the victim’s mother, said she was not happy when court acquitted Kabi’s alleged accomplices because they were neighbours who could revenge.

“Even for Kabi, I am not satisfied with the sentence, at least I wanted him to get death sentence,” she said.

The boy’s father, Mr Patrick Kyamanwa, said the sentence was fair but he, too, was not happy with the acquittal of the alleged accomplices.

Polygamy and HIV and AIDS in South Sudan

RUMBEK,  issue 005 March 1, 2011 (CISA) –
A missionary from the congregation of the Apostles of Jesus has said that South Sudan is a fertile ground for the spread of the virus causing HIV and AIDS infection. Fr Alex Ojiera, who has specialized training on HIV and AIDs, Management and Care, was speaking to Good News Radio on February 28.
Fr Ojiera said that the traditional culture of polygamy and inheritance of widows in South Sudan makes the country a fertile ground for the spread of HIV and AIDs. He explained that a polygamous man who contracts the virus and passes away after infecting his wives, exposes the virus to the community since the widows will be inherited by other polygamous men who will in turn spread it to other sexual partners.
Insisting on the need for awareness about HIV and AIDs by the various communities in South Sudan, Fr Ojier confirmed that pastoral agents are involved in informing the communities about the reality of HIV and AIDS during Eucharistic gatherings, adding that they encourage people to know their status through voluntary testing.
He also said that although one can contract the virus through sharing syringes or even sharp object like razor blades with infected persons, sexual relations remain the major form of passing on the virus.
Good News Radio in Rumbek Diocese is in dialogue with an international Christian organisation called Across, to produce a radio drama program on HIV and AIDs based on a manual called, “I Want To Know: HIV/AIDs Drama for Southern Sudan” in English and Dinka languages.
Across focuses on Sudan to help build communities, improve education, strengthen churches, improve livelihoods and teach people about health.

The Role of Women in Nation Building E-Discussion at UN Hqs

There is no chance for significant welfare improvement in Africa unless women have equal access. Studies conducted in the past were often hampered
by the lack of reliable data. Today, things are changing rapidly and women are at the forefront of these changes worldwide. The Commission on the
Status of Women (CSW) is holding its 55th Session at the UN Headquarters in New York from February 22nd through March 4th. Women’s organizations
worldwide are attending the conference. The agenda this year is “Access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and
technology, including the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.” ‘The African View’ had the opportunity to
interview Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and met with several NGO
representatives from the Congo, South Africa, Angola, Spain etc.

Please join our discussion this coming Wednesday from 12pm – 1pm EST, March 2nd, 2010 to share your thoughts as well as learn more about how these
courageous and extra ordinary women are stepping up to improve the gender gap, as well as helping to create sustainable development in their
communities in Africa and around the world.

Listen live on: www.BlogTalkRadio.com and www.africanviews.org
Join the discussion live on Wednesdays @ 12pm - 1pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Dial in number: 011 -             646.478.4131      .
Connect via Skype to: Africanviews
Email: bookie.shonuga@africanviews.com

The African View is produced by Global Media Productions and African Views.

African Views Radio: http://www.africanviews.org


Women prepare to Mark 100 Years of Women’s Day

NAIROBI, Issue 005, March 1, 2011 (CISA) –The Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya Justice and Peace Commission (AOSK-JPC), has organized an event as a precursor for upcoming International Women’s Day (IWD)on March 8.

Sr Jane Joan of AOSK-JPC told CISA that on March 5, there will be a procession from the Freedom Corner in at 9.00am and later a forum to be held at 10am at the Holy FamilyBasilica in Nairobi.
This year’s IWD theme is: “Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology: Pathway to decent work for women.”
According to AOSK-JPC, today in Kenya, thousands of women are challenged by terrible poverty, which has resulted in lack of adequate food, shelter, housing, education and employment.
The AOSK-JPC believes that there are many reasons to celebrate and that both men and women need to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women.
The organisation also said that both men and women must seize the opportunity to unite, network and mobilize each other for meaningful change.
The first IWD was marked for the first time in March 8, 1911. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, to be educated and to hold public office.

Human Trafficking in Kenya a Horrendous Reality

By Radek Malinowski http://haartkenya.blogspot.com/

CISA Issue 005 March 1 2011

Mary and Chiko always hoped to see the world. They were teenage girls, who came from poor families. Their parents struggled to send them to school. The boys went on for higher education but Mary and Chiko had to farm. One afternoon on their way home from the garden, a lorry stopped beside them, asking for directions. The driver was going to Nairobi and offered them a lift, so they could direct him in the maze of local roads.

He told them about Nairobi, city of skyscrapers, fast cars and smart people.  The driver listened to their story. “You are bright. You should go to town with me now,” he said.  “I will find you good jobs with lots of money.” Mary and Chiko agreed without hesitation. They travelled straight to Nairobi with the nice stranger.

Once they arrived at his house in Nairobi, there was a sudden change in driver’s behaviour.  He demanded unprotected sex from Chiko and when she refused, he raped her. The next morning he told Mary to go and stay with his cousin. When she arrived there, she was made to work as a house girl. Mary was beaten up and abused on a daily basis but she continued working for the cousin without resistance.  The city, noise, crowds of people, cars and matatus (public transport) scared Mary. She hardly understood the language being spoken in Nairobi. The Kiswahili she heard was different from the one they spoke at home and this made it a hurdle for her to seek help.

Chiko’s fate was different. The driver molested her sexually for a while but when he found a job in Uganda, he told her to move in with his colleague, a matatudriver who also raped Chiko, often bringing home his friends, who demanded that Chiko have sex with them as well. Soon she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease. Chased away, without any means to survive, Chiko was sheltered by a local sex worker. Pitying her, the new found friend introduced Chiko to the sex trade.

This is just one of hundreds similar scenarios. Stories about human trafficking in Kenya abound. They not only fail to describe human trafficking adequately, but they make it even more difficult to understand.  We tend to believe that human trafficking happens somewhere “far far away,” with white men playing the role of traffickers, predators. But, the reality is just the opposite. There are many stories of people being trafficked in the towns and villages of Kenya, and worse, many are trafficked by friends, acquaintances, or even family members.

They are trafficked abroad or within the country, travelling by plane, or by matatu. They are promised lucrative employment and easy life, but end up being exploited as prostitutes or forced labour workers.

The media carries terrifying stories of men, women and children abused locally and sexual exploitation abroad, forced labour or organ donation. What can we do to stop the crime of human trafficking? It is not like any other crime, but is a serious threat to the future of Kenya and the entire African continent. Human trafficking damages people and, thus, destroys human resources which cannot be simply rebuilt by financial aid from western institutions.

A group of concerned persons decided to get together and form an organization called Awareness against Human Trafficking (HAART). The founding members of HAART include Catholic missionaries, human rights activists, non-Christian and Christian faiths together with good governance campaigners.

The aim of HAART is to eradicate, or at least, significantly, diminish the cases of human trafficking in Kenya. This may seem unachievable, and within range. Yet, how can they go about it? UN and other agencies believe the easiest way to eradicate human trafficking is to create awareness at every level that has been infiltrated by traffickers. In other words, make people at the grassroots aware of what human trafficking is, what it is not; what common tricks traffickers use; how to avoid being sold into slavery and what to do if they do fall into the hands of traffickers. All of these may sound like an enormous task, but since it can save people’s lives, it is worth taking the challenge.

More must be done in order to eradicate trafficking from Kenya. Scientific research is also a necessity. Ongoing formation about the nature of human trafficking needs to be constantly updated. Traffickers are fast learners, and always adopt new tricks, new routes and new ways of exploiting others. So, to keep up the pace, anti-human trafficking campaigners need to do the same.

Finally, helping the victims is crucial. HAART will start an assistance programme for victims of human trafficking in Kenya. It is the primary responsibility of every person to offer help to those whose dignity and human rights have been violated. Sadly, the victims’ health, often has been severely damaged, psychologically and physically. Solwodi (Solidarity with Women in Distress) in Mombasa, Kenya are already involved in these activities.

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