GICUMBI – Iriba Microfinance Cooperative located in Byumba town on Wednesday closed down operations until further notice. The institution’s management says the closure was attributed to financial losses. According to a communiqué issued yesterday.
“The decision to close down operations till further notice is due to financial losses we have suffered. Further operations shall be decided in the shareholders’ general meeting scheduled Saturday May 29th 2010”.
It was signed by the chairperson of Iriba’s Administrative Council Joséphine Mujawiyera.
The letter further advised clients wishing to make deposits to do so at the firm’s accounts, held in Byumba’s Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR) and Bank Populaire du Rwanda SA.
In an interview with The New Times, the Microfinance’s manager, Jean Baptiste Niyibizi acknowledged that the institution had become technically insolvent due to failure to recover money loaned out to its clients, since 2004.
The microfinance firm currently has 229 loan defaulters, whose names are pinned on the bank’s notice board.
“The shareholders general assembly has to find ways of recovering the loans in order for the institution to resume its operations,” added Niyibizi.
When The New Times visited the firm’s premises, the banking hall was locked. Several clients could be seen stranded at the entrance.
“My salary is channeled through this firm. I don’t know what to do next, as my children need school fees and books”, said one client Théoneste Mpagaze.
Hamad Kanamugire, another client said he had failed to withdrawal Rwf600,000, meant for members of Byumba town local financial cooperative society commonly known as ‘Ikibina’, where he is the chairman.
“I have really been disappointed, as members of our cooperative society need their money to carry out various income generating economic activities,” lamented Kanamugire.