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Loan mix-up leaves village chief penniless

A dream of owning a beautiful modern house has slowly frittered away for Letloreng Headman, Lekang Koboto.

The 54-year-old royal from the small Tswapong village has been turned into a beggar following a mix up in a loan application.

The Voice traced the headman to his humble abode, roughly 30km from Sefhare, where he narrated his ordeal.

Koboto is in little doubt as to the culprit for his penniless predicament.

“My issue is very simple, Barclays (Absa) has turned me into a pauper. I haven’t had any money in the last four months, but I get paid every month-end!”

The smartly dressed Kgosi says his troubles began at the end of January when he applied for a loan at Express Credit in Mahalapye.

“I already had a running loan with Barclays (Absa) which stood at P55, 300, which Express Credit had to consolidate,” he explained, adding that as is common practice, Express Credit demanded a settlement letter from Absa which was duly sent.

“I got the shock of my life when at the end of the month Barclays withdrew the P1, 874 installment from my salary. At first I though it was a mistake, that they’d realise their error and return my money,” continued Koboto.

He said upon inquiry he was told his loan was still active and the deduction was the monthly installment.

“I called Express Credit who assured me that the P55, 300 was credited into a bank account provided in Barclays’ settlement letter. It came to our attention that the account number provided by the bank was not mine. In fact it belongs to another headman in a different village,” he said.

“My problem is that Barclays is refusing to take responsibility of this mix up. Now I’m servicing two loans and defaulting on other important policies,” cried Koboto.

Now with a monthly deduction of P2, 400 from Express Credit and P1, 874 from Absa, the headman is struggling to provide for his wife and kids.

The dream house, which the loan was meant to help complete, remains unfinished.

“I’ve lost my dignity. I can’t fuel my car and have an incomplete structure of a house all because of a mistake from Barclays,” he blasted.

Express Credit Customer Service Manager, Sylvia Anderson told The Voice that upon realising Absa had given them the wrong account number they requested the account be frozen to avoid utilisation of the funds.

“The matter was handed to Mahalapye police and the account holder confirmed that he indeed received the funds and had already utilised all of it as he was expecting back pays from work. He agreed to source funds and settle the debt owed,” revealed Anderson.

“We’ve gone above and beyond in assisting Mr Koboto and the issue now remains with Absa to resolve,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mahalapye Central Police Superintendent, Boitshepo Modongo admitted being aware of such an incident but said she could not go into further detail.

A questionnaire was sent to Absa through the bank’s Marketing and Corporate Relations Officer, Spencer Moreri II who stated that Absa Bank Botswana is committed to maintaining customer confidentiality and was therefore unable to comment on any matter relating to their clients.

“We remain committed to providing superior financial solutions to our clients and customers,” read part of their statement.

For the furious Koboto, ‘superior’ is the last word that comes to mind at the moment!

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