More than 10,300 people, including government officers, have been listed among those who will be reimbursed their savings they deposited in the banned Master Life Microfinance Company.
Master Life’s operation in Zanzibar was suspended in February this year after the government questioned its financial business credibility.
The government also arrested and prosecuted the company’s executives and sold property owned by the company.
However, the government has repeatedly insisted that it will close monitor the rights of the company’s investors to ensure everyone is paid accordingly.
In his recent speeches, the President of Zanzibar, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, said the pyramid scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors.
“Money invested by clients is not invested in any legitimate business but used to pay the people operating the scheme as well as those who invested earlier on. This is why the company can sometimes appear to be genuine and profitable investments; because the people who invested first seem to be benefitting,” he said, and added that such companies collapsed after failing to meet their promises.
“Once they collapse, there is often no way for those who invested to recover their money,” he warned.
At the time of the suspension, more than Sh12.32 billion was in the hands of the company.
Last week, the Ministry of Finance and Planning listed the names of 10,312 people for verification before processing their payments.
An analysis by the Zanzibar Mail shows that eight in ten of the company’s investors (81.2%) were low-income people who invested between Sh100,000 and Sh5million, while 12.09 percent (1247) of the investors deposited between Sh5.1million and Sh10million.
Those who invested Sh10.1million to Sh20million were 523 or 5.07 percent, 146 or 1.4 percent invested Sh20.2million to Sh40million, Sh40.5million to Sh60million were invested by 11 people while two people have invested Sh65million and Sh73.5million.
At the time of its inception, Master Life was offering a 100 percent profit on every savings but the profit dropped to 30 percent.
Also, investors were offered a 10 per cent offer, where the customer was required to take food and other goods according to their needs.
Fadhil Ali, one of the victims has commended the government for upholding their rights.
“I was disappointed after Master Life was suspended, but the President (Dr. Hussein Mwinyi) always encouraged us and assured us that everyone would get his right,” he said.
Despite the company’s services attracting many people, no one knew the motives of the company and how their savings were spent except the leaders.