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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Equity Bank And Why I Cry When The National Anthem Is Played At The Games

Most times when Kenyan athletes receive their medals and the whole stadium in some far away foreign land is asked to rise for the Kenyan national anthem, I usually can’t help crying.

It happened recently when I was in the company of somebody who didn’t know me too well and they got quite upset and distressed thinking that somebody had died. It took some explaining for me to convince them that I am just a very emotional and patriotic man. I love my country, warts and all.

I just love Kenya to bits and I guess that is one of the reasons why I took up this seemingly hopeless crusade that is Kumekucha which “clever” intellectuals will tell you is a waste of time. Indeed there are many times I feel like I have wasted time (especially when those Kikuyu/Luo hate comments start flying thick and fast here).

Fortunately I do not always feel like that. Once in a while stuff happens that makes me feel appreciated and makes me momentarily believe that it has been well worth my time, effort and risking my life. I recently met a famous blogger who screamed loudly and called me a legend when she realized who I was. Another famous blogger at the same venue also called me a legend. I blushed of course. Huh!! Some legend. I must have been a disappointment to them because I don’t express myself too well when I am not writing.

But whatever the case, you my dear readers can relax because such things will never go into my head. I am one of those people who strongly feel that the next president of Kenya should ride in a small 1200cc Toyota and with no motorcycles (what are they for anyway?).

But let me get to the point.

I want to talk about Equity Bank in this post.

As you read this I am reliably informed that there are at least half a dozen American Ivy league universities on the ground in Kenya doing research that is related in some way to Equity Bank and studying why it has been such a phenomenal success. I am sorry if this upsets some of you, but every time I see the Equity Bank logo, tears of pride collect in my eyes. Especially if I have been away from home for a long time.

You see the problem we have in Kenya is that we never appreciate our own. In fact we are deeply suspicious of sensational success that happens too fast. And we have absolutely got no time to encourage anything that is homegrown. So that’s why some American universities have to come all the way to Africa for any Kenyan to even sit up and take notice of our own.

I am deeply aware of the so called “Kikuyu factor attached to Equity Bank but millions of its’ members have no iota of Kikuyu blood flowing through their veins and they love their bank.

Let’s forget the politics for a moment and try to understand the Equity phenomena shall we? A friend of mine who has gone through some hard times recently (like so many other Kenyans) needed some money to put food on the table the other day. He remembered that he had opened an Equity account about 5 years ago which had fallen dormant over the years. He decided to walk down to his branch and close the account and get at least 200 bob which he needed badly. On reaching the bank, he had just started giving instructions for the account to be closed when he realized that he could reactivate it and draw out 400 bob and leave a balance of about Kshs 40 in the account. It seems that this bank has no minimum balance for savings accounts unlike most other banks in Kenya. Well, my friend did just that and a few minutes later walked out of the bank with the badly needed Kshs 400 bob in his pocket. He is NOT a Kikuyu.

Now my friend has made an emotional decision. He tells me he is expecting some cash soon and has vowed to close all his other accounts and keep all his money with Equity. You see many businesses quickly forget that they are dealing with people and people are driven by emotions. Is it any wonder that Equity is so much loved by the masses?

You see my good friends, Equity is a success simply because it understands the masses and the down and out. It is really that simple. Walk into the bank and listen carefully to some of the enquiries. Many of them would cause a fit at Barclays or some other big multinational bank. You will find somebody asking why it is not possible to draw Kshs 100 from the ATM (Equity’s minimum withdrawal allowed at the ATM is Kshs 200). I kid you not. Those long queues have folks in them whose questions can easily make most people pass out in amazement.

Over the last few months I have had many interesting discussions about Equity Bank with many different people (including the famous blogger I met the other day who mostly agrees with me despite her snobbish background). I have talked to banking experts, laymen, the poor and the rich. And from these discussions I have realized the terrible truth;

• The stinking rich will never accept Equity Bank because “they know everything” about money and keeping it and they “know” that Equity is NOT safe. PERIOD. The facts are NOT important relevant here.
• The big banks hate Equity because “who do they think they are” growing so fast and challenging the well established banks? Worse still, who do they think they are changing the ground rules of banking in Kenya the way they have? In fact they got so upset the other day that one of them (name with-held) launched a propaganda campaign in the press that Equity was collapsing. It was the kind of campaign that would have caused a run which can bring down any bank in the world. But Equity survived it mostly because most of its’ account holders don’t read newspapers (some can’t afford them others cannot understand them because the people who write and edit them have no idea how most Kenyans live).
• To make things worse they have no Kenyatta. Moi or Kibaki blood on the board of directors. Or any other well known monied name in Kenya. How dare….
• The rich will never understand ordinary folks in Kenya and therefore what they don’t understand they will quickly dismiss. The only problem with Equity is that they have been dismissing this “funny bank” for years and yet it continues to grow from strength to strength. Now this “funny” bank is the largest in Kenya in terms of account holders and is rapidly hurtling towards the very top in terms of asset base as well.

I have some little advice for those who are ready to learn something here (it is not necessary for you to get all teary every time the “mini ni member” Equity ad appears on TV for you to learn here). And my advice comes with a story.

Decades ago in India some small entrepreneur realized that most poor Indians loved to use a detergent rather than a bar soaps to wash their clothes. The only problem was that they couldn’t afford them and so they stuck to their bar soaps. On the other hand other manufacturers were sure that the poor just loved bar soaps and would never use a detergent even if you paid them to. Those familiar with India may have heard of the name Nirma. His cheap detergent for the masses took off like a rocket and the rest is history.

Whatever you are struggling to make a success of today, why not try and sell it to the masses? Yep sell it to the guys who supposedly have no money. The riff raff of society. Why not try to be the next Nirma or the next Equity Bank?

Remember to share some of your enormous profits with me will you…

P.S. Incidentally for anybody interested in getting to State House, it is the riff ruff who will get you there. Oh yes, the guys who are “stupid enough” to have accounts in Equity. Incidentally there are almost 6 million such “stupid” people in Kenya now and still growing.


UrXlnc said...

hehehe chris my brother

you have fallen victim to the most elaborate, refined, vicious and financial elitist con game of all

i.e lapping up graciously and gratefully the crumbs/bones that fall of the high table

sorry dude, that cant sell, its not your fault, its the system

dont get me wrong, i think equity has done a fantastic job in opening up the banking sector and making it more mwananchi friendly, but please lets not kid ourselves. good business is not and never is about the mwananchi, it is about the opportunity thats what the equity directors discerned and exploited

Taabu said...

Congrats for your new job. Man, it must be another feeling to step into Wangethi's shoes, ama was that not you behind the MC?

Now Equity board owes your plenty for free publicity. And you know what, you are damn right in your post. Equity knows their customers and hence its success. But there ends the story.

Your story's hanger of Ivy league scholars was a poor attempt to intellecualize street robbery albeit packaged as legitimate business. Trust me, you won't like the stench from your laundry machine thereafter.

Ever heard to cartels and ensalving the masses? Well, it often starts off as a shrewd business taking advantage of an opportunity to cash in on a need. But before you know it, the experiment just like power intoxicates and grows wings of its own and as you say the rest is history.

True Equity is a success but at whose expense and what long term cost? Remember anything not founded on truth and fairness soon has its legs wobbling. Not to be a doomsayer but Equity has plenty of skeletons.

For now we care not and the many customers have no choice. They will continue crowding Equity bank halls. But wait when the shit hits the fan. Meanwhile let the smart folks make hay when the sun is still up. OLE WETU.

M-Pesa said...

Chriso, welcome backo!

Phew! At last we get some nice refreshing article for once though not agreeable to all. It's indeed a welcome break from the usual Raila/ODM worship which is so prevalent here.

On the "Kikuyu bank" let me quote the great Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Is the "snobbish" lady blogger involved in any way with

Wamoronjia said...

Sasa chris. Yep, it's mbof that instead of Uon, Ku, etc doing a study on Equity Bank, it's Stato campos! Aibu tupu.
When we begin appreciating and supporting our indigenous businesses, we will be on our way to regain the greatness we lost ages ago.

Rashadi said...

The Phenomena Success of Equity.

The current crop of leaders in the country of kenya does not seem to understarnd why kenyans do what they like to do. The crop continues to assume many things to them and make them things that are not good or are not in way, sharp and forms the things they are in deep need and desire of.

Case in point, the phenomena success of Equity Bank of Kenya is simply because of the unique way the people have been understood to want the goods that the bank is providing and knowing why the local Tom, Dick and Harry would like to incoroporate the services, the goods, the skills and even the knowledge to be gained.

Why do others fail to copy? Why do others look down? Why do others refuse to listen? One answer--ARROGANT! .This is what is brining our beloved country down. Our country has been brought to the knees and it has been sent to go and be with the dogs. This is the terrible waste!

Equity Bank of Kenya has lessons many people can be learnt!

Anonymous said...

Any venture can succeed if its backed by unlimited state guarantee - when risk is tranfered to mwananchi / tax payer - its not very hard to take risks as your money is not on the line. Tranfer of money and power from Goverment to private hands is not a feat of genius - if the Government backs my risks I can build roads all over Kenya and start charging for usage - I will be very successfull in no time. We have still not been told what deal equity made with the Gova that is a state secret - I predict its demise just before a change in Gava not becouse its a kikuyu bank or badly managed - banking is build of confidence and trasparency and Equity lacks both - thats why people will sell thier shares and there will be a run in the bank before a change in Guard - which is inevitable latest 2010.

Anonymous said...

Chris it is good to have you back-i will also scream in a deep loud voice one day when i meet you because you are indeed Kumekucha legend so feel appreciated bro.

However i think you must also cry when watching Prime Minister's Question Time every Tuesday just to balance out the scoresheet

BTW in Kenya we do appreciate our own-if its done by me,my family or clan. we are not always deeply suspicious of fast sensational success if its happening to us. And we are encouraging to homegrown solutions-case in point?Justice Ringera's re-appointment

I wish Equity and other Kenyan ventures e.g. Kumekucha all the very best in future

Mwarang'ethe said...

Josiah Charles Stamp, a Director of the Bank of England, and the second richest man in the UK did give a lecture at the University of Texas in 1920's. This is what he said:

"Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money."

Here we are almost 100 years later, and we read Chris cheering his own slavery. Oh, humanity.

But, we are not surprised for we were told by James Madison that:

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

This pieace about Equity is a classic example of knowledge governing ignorance.

Shocked said...

How comes the top management does reflect the people of Kenya?

Anyway, I do not have any quarrel with them if they do not do what Barclays Bank did to my late 91- years old father! The old man's account became dormant with over Shillings 20,000/ in it. He had saved this sum of money growing and selling maize and vegetables while he was still capable.
Without notice, the foreign crooks deducted money from this account on a until they dried it up! You know, foreign businesses operate with impunity in Kenya. Kenya is still under the queen of England.

What poor Kenyans must be very afraid of is the growing foreign "MICROLENDING or MICROFINANCE" targeting the locals in the rural areas. These hardworking Kenyans may taken to the cleaners by the foreign loans providers going after their cows, goats, sheep, chicken or other tangible properties like plots of land.
I do not understand why foreign NGOs would be using educated Kenyan youths to "nyakua" the little that poor Kenyans may have. Why would AIG be doing this anyway? These are the same people who do not feel comfortable with Barack Obama who is half cast. Why are they comfortable with poor rural Kenyans who are 100% black and poor?

Anonymous said...

I wish you were shedding tears for the fact that Kikuyus have completely polarised this country more than ever since Kibaki came to power that has made Moi's prophesies be fulfilled in his lifetime.

Apart from that even many Kikuyus in the NGO world have refused to criticize the Kibaki government yet they were very vocal and critical of Moi.Even a joke to the tune of Redyklas cannot be made on Kibaki before Kikuyus come out complaining, and we had taken it for granted during Moi's time, as bad as he was.

Many NGo's headed by Kikuyus never take projects out of central province despite being funded by donors and cheating donors that they are active nationally. Am talking specifically if ICJ amongst others.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Chris and dont worry about the likes of Taabu who would have preferred you continue Kibaki bashing and Mwarangethe who after going to Mzungu schools and being brainwashed is now feeding us on tired quotes more than 90 years old. Tell that to a poor Kenyan who thanks to equity can now access affordable banking.

Chris ignore the distractors since the 'eyes of frogs in the river has never stopped a herd a cattle from enjoying a refreshing drink of water'... just reprace frogs with likes of Taabu and Mwarangethe who thinks pompous writing(bombastics) translate to wisdom.

Is this the same bank that Nyang Nyongo and Raila fought because it was founded by a KIkuyu??


Phil said...


Habari ya masiku?

The CBK sanctioned Equity pyramid scheme was extensively and correctly covered by Sam Okello while you were on sabbatical leave. Sorry, nothing new really!

We were then told by someone calling him/herself M-pesa that unlike bloggers who rely on newspapers and tv for information, you - kumekucha - were on the ground talking to the common man and that you would come back soon with refreshing, well researched news and information.

It appears on this article, you are betraying m-pesa because the tone of your language suggests you have been listening to the 'mimi-ni-member' advert on Citizen 106.7FM by the pyramid schemers and that like all the rest of us, you seemingly enjoyed Kenya's Berlin medal haul courtesy KBC Channel the point of shedding tears of joy!

Lets not re-start on the wrong footing by giving equity bank undeserved publicity.

Why not, for example, show some patriotism by praising Bw. Reuben Marambii who has almost single handedly turned around the fortunes of National Bank of Kenya (a tax payer owned bank) from near collapse during the Nyayo days to profitability in recent days and this is despite most of donor funding earmarked for public projects being disbursed through Equity pyramid scheme rather than NBK?

For instance, from you on-the-ground sources; let's hear from you what the common man in Kibwezi and Karatina thinks of how the succession politics is shapping up, or how the recently launched giant government irrigation scheme(s) in Bura, Ahero and other places will turn this country into a net exporter of food within the next few years? Or how the artificial shortage of sugar (otherwise known as white gold) has seen almost instantly the sudden appearance of tens of ocean liners approaching Mombasa Port laden with tonnes of sugar - and who the real importers of this lucrative commodity are, and why Hon Ruto is pushing for the sugar to be allowed duty free??

Leta siasa fresh bwana Chris, am sure Kumekucha iko kiu mingi.

Anonymous said...

Phil said

'For instance, from you on-the-ground sources; let's hear from you what the common man in Kibwezi and Karatina thinks of how the succession politics is shapping up'

Kenyans say,
Phil you need to outgrow your obsession with beer den politics and discuss mature issues. chris is talking about Equity a bank that has brought affordable banking to poor Kenyans. You may have wanted him to go praising Raila, for what? stealing maize? his indecisiveness concerning Mau or appointing his sister to US as a GOK consular??

Sam Okello reading from Raila book of politics tried to taint Equity, a feat that his idol Raila tried in vain in 2008. now you quote Okello's doctored gutter rumours as truth??
Phil, you need to stop responding to educated listings like this one. Stick to political ones where you can score points by mentioning ODM or throwing e-stones or even uprooting e-railways. heck that is in your blood dummy!!!

M-Pesa said...

I was driving my battered, clapped out banger along Langata road yesterday when I decide to pull over at Shell which is next to the entrance of Wilson Airport. Across the road, there's a huge upcoming building, probably a shopping mall or a giant office complex which to my rough estimate will cost about Ksh 1.5 Billion inluding the land it sits on.

I like conversing with the common man (just like Chris) so I asked the mechanic about what was being constructed. To my amazement, the old man replied "hio nyumba ni ya Ruto!", then added "He's here all the time checking on the progress, hawa watu jameni wanatoa pesa wapi?" Well, looks like the young overnight billionaire has become even richer riding on our backs. So much for ODM's hollow "change" slogan!

Mwarang'ethe said...

Shocked wrote:

What poor Kenyans must be very afraid of is the growing foreign "MICROLENDING or MICROFINANCE" targeting the locals in the rural areas. These hardworking Kenyans may taken to the cleaners by the foreign loans providers going after their cows, goats, sheep, chicken or other tangible properties like plots of land.

Our views:

If you read in the Bible, the Jews were told not to ask INTEREST/USURY (there is no difference between the two).

However, they were allowed to ask INTEREST/USURY from Gentiles. Have you wondered why? Simply, the Jews had a mission to conquer the Gentiles and the best means of conquiring a people without military occupation/colonialism is to destroy them via interest/usury.

If you look at Africa today, as a result of old "loans" we have been forced to sell our assets to foreigners, cut our social spending so as to be able to meet debt obligations. All this we have done to pay interest. But, has our debt obligations gone down or up?

If you analyse our budget, the debt interest is higher than our spending on agriculture. But why should debts factor higher than education, health etc? The answer lies in Article VIII (2) (a) of the IMF Treaty. It provides that:

"Subject to the provisions of Article VII, Section 3(b) and Article XIV, Section 2, no member shall, without the approval of the Fund, impose restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions."

The implication of the above Article is staggering for those who know the meaning.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous wrote:

Chris ignore the distractors since the 'eyes of frogs in the river has never stopped a herd a cattle from enjoying a refreshing drink of water'... just reprace frogs with likes of Taabu and Mwarangethe who thinks pompous writing(bombastics) translate to wisdom.

Our response:

Fine, if you think we are quoting a dead white man, the question is very simple.

Do banks today create money out of thin air and charge usury for it?

Thats the only question you need to answer if you understand how modern banking works.

Philip said...

Not only Nirma or Equity Bank, but also Safaricom. Am I right?

I think Equity has been able to identify itself with the masses and now they are trying to become part of the mass... or maybe they are already there.

I know when it's that way then the mass will most likely feel more comfortable getting loan from Equity bank than any other bank, even if the services and rates are same.

I remember during my days as a poor graduate struggling to make a living my employer gave me a cheque for Barclays bank.. I felt ashamed being inside it since I felt it was not a place I should be, that time I used to have an account with Postbank, which at that time didn't have ATM cards, but had an ugly book used for withdrawal.

That reminds me of Postbank, I think they lost what Equity took. Most poor people during 90s identified themselves with Postbank, if not KCB. But Postbank had poor services while KCB started becoming expensive and created procedures that locked some people like us from opening an account with them.

Equity came with a simple way of opening an account with them - you only needed yourself and your ID card to open an account. They assisted people to fill the forms, photocopied your ID card at no fee e.t.c.

Mwarang'ethe said...

M - Pesa wondered

To my amazement, the old man replied "hio nyumba ni ya Ruto!", then added "He's here all the time checking on the progress, hawa watu jameni wanatoa pesa wapi?" Well, looks like the young overnight billionaire has become even richer riding on our backs.

Our views:

There are three forms of inequality.

Firstly, is the slavery which we have seen in Babylon, Egypt, Sparta, USA, colonialism etc.

Secondly, there is inequality among nations. For instance, Greeks held non - Greeks were barbarians. It was the same with Romans. And, it is today to some extent between so called developed and developing nations.

The third form of inequality which IS ACCEPTED by many out of ignorance is founded on FALSE ORGANISATION OF CREDIT. In credit we mean modern money and banking system.

As a result of false credit organisation, we breed inequality between nations and between different classes within our nations.

Since modern banking is an extension of ARISTOCRATIC PRINCIPLES, Ruto, Kibaki, Raila etc can easily be allowed to create money while denying the masses who credit wealth from doing so.

If this is the way we organise credit, how can you wonder why some are getting rich while others starve? So, if you see the issue from this perspective, the problem is not Equity, it is the banking and money system that is false.

Philip said...


There was a time my friends were lucky to have been with a drunken Mr Cyrus Jirongo, as Jirosh gulped down the frothy drink he said Ruto also sold maize to SS.


To be sincere we Kenyans should thank God for not having Ruto or Uhuru as our president.

The truth is that Kenya has improved substantially since 2002, only that we complain since we want more and we know if the government works hard we will get more.

It's the reason I normally get so annoyed when I hear Moi critisizing the government. Criticism are good and should be allowed but when they are destructive criticism then it's better we stay without them.

Hey! Can someone do something? Kalenjin leaders have started inciting their people.

Anonymous said...

The Mungiki extravaganzas of BEHEADING their fellow tribesmen have resumed in central province:

Anything not founded on truth and fairness soon has its legs wobbling and, god forbid, self inflicted BEHEADINGS as has been happening and is happening now once again.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get from these perennial Equity Bank haters is where they want all those downtrodden to go for banking. I mean all those nay sayers like UrXInc, Phil, and of course the unredeemably tribal Taabu; where do they want us to go to bank our meager salaries, and our income from our shambas and kiosks? We want then to tell us which bank has the same services at the same cost and we will go there at once. Not all of us can afford to bank in the marble halls of Barclays, or to go to Kenya Commercial Bank where the quality of service depends on your station in life.

It is simply narrow-mindedness to explain all the success of Equality Bank by saying "it is a Kikuyu bank and is enjoying all the state money." How many Kikuyu banks have failed in the past or are struggling to servive (some even belonging to friends of Kibaki)? Many!

Today, the financial sector in Kenya is fairly liberalized and a bank doesn't succeed or fail on account of the ethnicity of its founders. Much has to do with innovation and management of risk.

As concerns state money, Equity may have its share but other banks like National Bank and Kenya Commercial have far high state deposits than Equity will ever get; and what do they have to show for those deposits? Remember when it comes to disbursing donor money through Equity, the donors have a lot of say, and I don't think these donors allow it to be disbursed through it because of their love for Equity or the Kikuyus. Donors look for factors such as the experience of the bank with the target group, the income brackets of the customers of the bank and the geographical reach of the bank.

If state money is all that was needed to succeed, then the Kalenjin banks and the Luo Thabiti Bank would have taken over the finacial sector. Take the case of Thabiti, there was a time when any politically correct Luo could walk in and in a single afternoon walk out with a loan. Most of the money that went to pay the Nyayo House torturers and the magistrates who convicted innocent Moi era victims went through this Bank under the patronage of Hezekial Oyugi. If success of a bank purely depends on state money why is Thabiti as dead as a dodo?

I do not say Equity is run by angels neither do I expect banks to be run by mama's boys. But I expect to be treated as a customer and Equity does that. What is more I got a small real estate loan from them and they have my title. I can't wait to get a second loan once I am done with the current one. And I don't care whether Mwangi(the CEO) is a Kikuyu or a martian or who he golfs with. Let the nay sayers go and get their financial services from the mzungu bank.

It is very easy for detractors to say it is a Kikuyu bank, it enjoys state patronage, it will fail when there is change of government. Of course it can fail. Banks are failing all the time. In the US they have lost count of the number of banks that have failed since last year (some banks were over a hundred years old). Rarely do they fail because of lack of state patronage. Oftentimes, they fail because they have not changed with times, or taken too much risk, or purely due to irrational fear and rummour (and this is where Equity needs to take precautions).

We need to remember Raila's advice when he was opening the Equity Bank branch in Bondo. He said people should go and get loans for business but not for marrying second wives. Let those who have ears hear!!

Anonymous said...


I have a similarly good experience with Equity. It started when I was in High School and my single mom used to get small loans for school fees and she would pay with deductions from proceeds from tea. That is how my siblings and I have been educated. Life was hard but it worked. That time it was a Building Society and not a bank. When I was first year at UoN I opened an account with them when they introduced a deposit free student account service. I still have that account even after graduation.

The other day I was talking to a senior manager of the bank and he was asking for feedback. I suggested to him that the bank should try a pilot program of offering small scale tea growers a health insurance scheme similar to the way they started off with educational loans. He was excited. The bank has people who are ready to listen and try. I wouldn't mind partnering with them in the insurance pilot scheme.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous wrote:

What I don't get from these perennial Equity Bank haters is where they want all those downtrodden to go for banking.

Our response:

We fully understand your predicament. There are two ways of creating money:

(a) Debt based money creation process.

(b) Credit based money creation system.

Since 1694, when the Bank of England was chartered, we have had debt based money creation process which has been exported to all nations.

Unfortunately, this system breeds debt slavery and destruction of ecology as we witness today. For instance, it is impossible to tackle climate change as long as we have debt based monetary system.

We need a credit based money creation process that does not rely on debts and banks monopoly and privilege.

For instance, btw 1066 and 1694, the English Government was run without a single debt. Look at Kenyan debts for the last 45 years or USA debts for the last 60 years.

The question is, if the English govt. could run without debts between 1066 - 1694, why is it that, today with all the knowlege, technology and wealth we are sinking into more debt slavery?

It is not difficult to understand today's scenario. In 1694, William Paterson the founder of Bank of England thundered:


Some may talk of dead white men, but, here they are being ruled by dead white men without their knowledge.

All we can say at the moment is that, there are people working as we speak to bring about credit based money creation process.

Anonymous wrote:

...a bank doesn't succeed or fail on account of the ethnicity of its founders. Much has to do with innovation and management of risk.

Our response:

Innovation? Even robbers innovate new ways of robbing people.

Today, the value of currency and credit derivatives is 645 TRILLION DOLLARS. The global GDP is about 50trillion dollars. Is this what you call innovation and risk management?

Anonymous wrote:

Donors look for factors such as the experience of the bank with the target group ...

Our response:

If you believe in so called donors, woe unto you.

Anonymous wrote:

Take the case of Thabiti, there was a time when any politically correct Luo could walk in and in a single afternoon walk out with a loan.

Our response:

This only illustrates our earlier point. Banks are a remnant of aristocracy.

For instance, between London and New York, we have around 2 trillion dollars per day criss crossing the Atlantic pond.

About 98% of this money is for SPECULATION. So, only 2% is for productive economy. Thus, we have FINANCIAL CAPITALISM which has become a parasite on the real economy for it extracts wealth from those who create to enrich a few.

Anonymous wrote:

What is more I got a small real estate loan from them and they have my title.

Our response:

Banks have two roles:

(a) They are depositaries for existing money, and

(b) are BANKS OF ISSUE, i.e. create new money via loans.

Unfortunately, they create this new money out of thin air. And, here you are very happy paying/ slaving with your blood and sweat for a contract that lacked CONSIDERATION, a basic requirement of english law of contracts. It must be good to be a slave master as bankers are.

Anonymous wrote:

Oftentimes, they fail because they have not changed with times, or taken too much risk, or purely due to irrational fear and rummour (and this is where Equity needs to take precautions).

Our response:

This is why banks fail. When they create money out of thin air, it is a promise to pay with currency they do not have.

The consequence is that, when there are rumours about a bank, everyone rushes to collect his money. And, since the legal tender laws specify what currency must be used for debts, there is no enough of the legal tender money.

Thus, the combination of creation of money from thin air and legal tender laws lead to bank runs.

Anonymous said...

come on mwarang'ethe and admit are quite drunk right now!

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous said...
come on mwarang'ethe and admit are quite drunk right now!

Our response:

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionalry act, so said George Orwell.

We have stated nothing but the truth. Let anyone prove us wrong.

For instance, serious thinkers like Plato, religions like Christianity and Islam, have all condemned charging of interest for a long time. So, why did Christianity accept usury?

Usury was made acceptable by Calvin when he wrote that:

"if all usury is condemned tighter fetters are imposed on the conscience than the Lord himself would wish."

However, he also warned that:

"if you yield in the least, with that pretext, very many will at once seize upon unlicensed freedom, which can then be restrained by NO MODERATION OR RESTRICTION."

He then wrote that:

"Therefore usury is not wholly forbidden among us unless IT BE REPUGNANT BOTH TO JUSTICE and CHARITY."

When he wrote this, he was living in Switzerland. Does that ring a bell?

The fact is that, all considerations of JUSTICE and CHARITY have beed abondoned in today's finance.

For instance, where is justice that Calvin talked about in asking poor people to spend more on debts than on their own health as is happening in all third world nations?

So, you can see that the Bible most of us carry does not allow charging of interest on loans.

So, those who talk of dead white men, is this not a case of whole Christianity being corrupted by one man and we all follow him blindly carrying Bibles which we never read? The truth has never been told.

Anonymous said...


I can tell you for a fact that Equity bank will be there long after both Raila and Kibaki are gone. You see the village where I was born is where the bank was concieved too and this mzee Munga can see far. I remember in the past, he urged the mzees in the village to come up, pool resources purchase some available land and plant fast growing trees to cure tea because electric kilns at tea factories had no future. The Mzees who joined the scheme are now very rich. Believe it or not, in my gichagi the mamas and mzees who founded equity can comfortably teach Mwarangethe a thing or two with his high sounding financial advice from important but dead white men.

And Mpesa, the product not the blogger makes an interesting read too.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous wrote:

Believe it or not, in my gichagi the mamas and mzees who founded equity can comfortably teach Mwarangethe a thing or two with his high sounding financial advice from important but dead white men.

Our response:

Your attack is unfounded. This is what we wrote "... So, if you see the issue from this perspective, the problem is not Equity, it is the banking and money system that is false."

It should thus be absolutely clear to anyone that, we have no ill feelings against Equity. What we attack is the false organisation of credit.

Seen this way, we see no difference between Barclays, Citibank etc and Equity. They are all rotten fruits of a Babylonian credit system.

Anonymous said...

what an embarrassment you are to most Kenyans...

Equity Bank?


please post here facts.. before i do..

then lets share details on how I know their game plan in and out ( I work there)

and I'm not proud of it..

this is a bank which will crash soon .... watch this space my friend...

stop shedding tears for a bank which will go under with many kenyans savings..

I will watch this space when that happens and I will wait to hear of how much more tears Kumekucha will will shed for kenyans that will end up bankrupt..

Equity my friend will not be able to refund bank their full money..




Anonymous said...


watch and learn.. don't be fooled by equity bank!!!!


Kumekucha... Equity ain't stable.. it is only fooling uneducated or misinformed kenyans from Rural areas... look at where they concentrate their marketing..

the poor people will soon find out when Equity collapses and blame everything on he world Economy:):)

wait and see..

Shocked said...

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to start some well planned business; provided the loan payments can be achieved using money generated from the business for which the loan was borrowed.
However, the "Micro lenders" targeting hardworking slum dwellers and Kenyans living in rural areas seem to be pushing other products as well, like the use of cellular phones on the already burdened poor Kenyans! These lenders are actually becoming very intrusive in the lives of ordinary Africans!
My fellow countrymen/women, hard working poor Kenyans are being enslaved to sustain the luxurious life styles of foreigners and their supporting ruling elites in Kenya. The pattern has spread all over Africa.
Otherwise, why would Safaricom be engaged in "micro lending"?

Safaricom benefits from the heavy interest rates it charges its customers on loans as well as premium charges on the customers’ use of their cellular phone and phone cards.

The "micro lending" is consumption lending. Kenyans are being converted into perpetual consumers with endless loan payments that will never end until the slave worker dies, most of the time without anything to show for the hard work involved.
Why are slum life styles being promoted by African elites and their foreign collaborators? Because once you confine people within a kraal, it easy to control what they see, how they think and what they consume! I am sure there are TV sets in these slums with 24 hour programs designed by the very people advancing the loans. Fantastic!
Do not forget that people wreaking havoc in lives of many Kenyans by promoting tribalism are operating on all sides of tribal saga. Divide, confuse and control are the goals and they are succeeding! The poor are fighting against one another while those promoting the fights are well protected and are reaping the benefits of the chaotic situation they have created!

The other day an aunt of mine saw a Chinese driving a bicycle in a remote area of Kenya, sizing the land and people to grab that land from. All this Chinese cyclist need to find is a corrupt Kenyan politician and the owner of the land will end up in a slum somewhere!!!
Poor people are being kraaled into slums for micro lending!!

These are some of the lenders. It is not difficult to determine their luxurious life styles.

Shocked said...

Please, educate people living in slums and rual Kenya. They need all of the non-predators or loan sharks on this blog!

Anonymous said...

If thought the 1990 banks were robbing Kenyans, just look at the Okoa Jahazi model being tried by Safaricom.

You get loaned airtime for Kshs 50 with a Kshs. 5 interest. The interest is paid up front and thats is why the balance reads Kshs.45

This loan is offered for a month, and you must have used their airtime a week or so before. Let us now compound this amount for ten such 20 "low end" borrowers and you start to get the reason why loan sharks are looking at Safaricom with envy.

This cannot be anything else other rather robbery. If the normal airtime for my phone is Kshs. 500 a week why cant I be loaned that? Reason is they are targetting the poor and boy, they are really getting into the Jahazi.

Anonymous said...

For all those "well informed" experts with "inside knowledge"who are screaming Equity Bank will fail:

1.) Tell me what about their capital and/or liquidity levels informs such a supposition?

2.) What kind of asset quality or interest rate risk does EB's books reveal?

I mean we have so many banking experts on this board right now so do tell.....

PS - WHile I do agree with Mwarang'ethe's analysis of the banking system to some degree, the system as it is is going NOWHERE anytime soon so we must work within the current system to maximize our welfare. After that is achieved we can proceed with a paradigm shift

Shocked said...

There must be Africans who are partners in Equity Bank. If these Africans care about the less fortunate hardworking fellow Africans, they should be in a position to protect the interests of fellow citizens holding accounts in Equity Bank. Otherwise, the foreign partners must be calling all the shorts and the African partners are merely there to be "yes men" who are going with flow like "dead fish"!
Africans must not sacrifice fellow Africans for exploitation by foreigners; but this is exactly what is happening in most Africans countries. The elites power or wealth brokers are sacrificing the hardworking poor they are suppose to protect.
Here is the classical example of what is about to happen. Foreigners are going to intrude into every aspect of every Kenyan's life. Making me wonder, is Kenya an independent country?

While heated tribal wranglings are going on and the Government of national Unity is weak and compromised, foreign governments, working for interests of their corporations, are taking advantage of the confusion to push for regulations which will work against the interests of Kenyan citizens as a whole!!
Young Kenyans must be observant about what is happening now while Kenyan Government is at a crossroad. They must remember that laws that are affecting Kenyans now were instituted at the dawn of Kenya's independence when African leaders taking power from colonial power were ill prepared to run the government effectively without the help from outgoing colonial power. Up till now, outside powers know more about Kenya than most elites in power. These people know what buttons to push to create chaos and they have been pushing those buttons since Kenya's independence. You cannot rely on someone who do not want you to succeed!!! Africans are unable to learn or understand about this fact!

Anonymous said...

Idiotic anon 9/3/09 6:35 AM

On Safaricom, the company is simply offering a prepaid customer the option of topping up without cash. You wouldnt know how helpful it is since YOU ARE A FAT PIG who doesnt need or use Kshs 20 or 50 airtime. YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF NOT USING THE SERVICE JUST AS YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF NOT BANKING WITH EQUITY. As at today 6 million and 13 million kenyans are using and enjoying good service from Equity and Safaricom respectively. These are local companies and we need to support them for the local solutions they are offering eg MPESA which the whole world is copying from us now...

Anonymous said...

Am sure as a poor small saver, I tried out something new against the wishes of most of my more affluent friends who had been luckier to complete the module II courses earlier and get jobs ahead of me. I opened an account at Equity, mainly for my small savings out of my petty errand jobs.

Mind to ask, my answer is that I have never been disappointed, having got a job slightly later, saved at my "I come from Nairobi and I am a Member", my plans to get a small loan are set to take me places.

Why doesn't anybody mention the lowest-in-town Forex rates at Equity?

No regrets, thanks.

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