Agribank chases defaulters

Cases brought by Agribank against defaulting borrowers feature almost daily on the roll of the High Court.

21 February 2019 | Banking

Embattled farmers defaulting on their loans are increasingly being dragged to court in an effort by Agribank Namibia to recover outstanding debts.

Last year, Agribank announced it would intensify its debt-collection strategy in an effort to recoup millions in outstanding loan repayments.

The bank features almost daily on the court roll and on Monday, a farmer lost his land which will now be sold in execution of his debt.

On Tuesday, the High Court roll included three cases brought by the bank against defaulters in attempt to recover loans totalling more than N$8 million.

Court documentation shows that in one case, the bank had reached an agreement with the owners of a farm in the Omaheke Region.

The defendants in the case, Paul Johannes Karuaihe and Othene Dawn Karuaihe, had defaulted on two separate Agribank loans amounting to a total outstanding debt of more than N$2.4 million.

Agribank had taken legal action in an effort to sell the Karuaihes' farm, Hektor, but papers filed in court last week indicated that the parties had agreed on repayment and the bank no longer wanted to foreclose.

In another matter, the bank is asking that two farms, one in the Otjozondjupa Region and another in the Kunene Region, be declared executable in order to recover a loan of more than N$8 million.

Agribank lists three respondents: Kaura Kaura, Katuutire Kaura and Victorine Uakahungira Kaura. It states that in 2014 the first respondent, Kaura Kaura, was granted a N$6.2 million loan to purchase farmland.

The bank states in its particulars of claim that the first respondent failed to repay any annual instalments and now owed more than N$8 million.

In 2014, the second and third respondents signed a written deed of suretyship and became co-principal debtors for the repayment of any sums owed by the first respondent.

The two properties, Farm Ahrensburg Nord in the Otjozondjupa Region, and Farm Môreson in the Kunene Region, are not the primary residences of any of the defendants. In another case, the bank is attempting to recover N$76 015.89 outstanding on a loan of N$41 600 granted to Frans Gaoseb, a Karibib resident.

The bank is asking the court to execute a sale on a 262-square-metre property owned by Goaseb at Karibib, which he had put up as collateral for the loan.

Agribank came under fire following the release of its annual report for the 2016/17 financial year, in which it received a qualified audit opinion. An unknown number of loans had been 'lost' in the transfer of data to a new system. The bank cleaned up its act and is now actively trying to recover outstanding farm loans.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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