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World Bank ignores complaints, gives rogue firm Sh6.1 billion

Jesse Moore, CEO of M-Kopa

M-Kopa Holdings Limited has secured Sh6.1 billion funding for its Kenyan outfit from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector finance arm of The World Bank.

In the same round of financing, IFC Uganda got Sh1.8 billion.

The financial aid comes at a time when the solar company’s rogue behavior against natives is well documented.

Shady sackings: Is another one in the offing?

In 2018, M-Kopa sacked staff, two weeks after receiving funding of Sh1.6 billion from FinDev, a subsidiary of Export Development Canada.

M-Kopa distributes among other gadgets, cellphones and solar-powered appliances on an instalment plan to African villagers.

Cover up

The agency, which was created in 2017 with $300 million in funding over five years “to support private sector investment in developing countries,” held back Access To Information records on the Nairobi deal for a year, and censored documents.

he M-Kopa contract was signed February 28, 2018. It was publicly disclosed March 13. Days later on March 15 M-Kopa announced it laid off 150 employees.

Memos from FinDev note that Lamontage offered to manage the M-Kopa contract despite the office not yet having enough employees to manage the deal.

“Since our investment officers will not start until the summer, I will manage the relationship with M-Kopa and serve as our board observer,” wrote Lamontagne in a 2018 memo. “As you know, this makes sense as I have a history in Kenya having previously served as chair of a local impact fund. In fact, I just returned from meeting M-Kopa in Nairobi.”

READ: Did scandal force M-Kopa to change name, business?

At the time the subsidy was granted, FinDev’s nine employees included a “gender advisor” and a “social media and marketing specialist”.

This is a confirmation that they use these funds for their own benefit as they lie that they are helping Africans. 

Slavery in Africa

According to Canadian whistleblower paper Blacklock’s Reporter (www.blacklocks.ca), deeper review of public financial records reveal that the 25 senior management and directors at M-Kopa in Nairobi average pay packet is 1.3M KSh per month. These 25 directors and managers, only 4 of who are Kenyan, are paid more than all of the rest of the African staff combined. Kenyan staff average 34,000 KSh per month, Blacklocks reports.

Loan slavery

M-Kopa is enslaving Kenyans with loans they are not able to pay.

Some are even advanced against faulty gadgets.

M-Kopa is one of the Kenyan companies providing the Pay-As-You-Go platforms where clients get goods especially solar panels, phones etc on credit.

A client has an an issue with the firm’s Nanyuki branch over sell of faulty Samsung Phone.

“I happened to buy a new Samsung phone on One of the M KOPA outlets, a shop based in Nanyuki. After five months the gadget developed some issues. I took it to their shop since it was under 24months warranty and they promised I’ll have the gadget in less than 4 days”, he wrote.

The client however, said he’s been made to wait and nothing seems to be changing. Instead, he’s been met with rude customer care representatives.

“Now it has been 2 weeks whenever I call them they don’t pick or they end up being rude. Have contacted one of their sales manager to send back the gadget but she keeps taking me rounds and rounds”, he added.

A spot check by the complainant showed that there are over 250,000 unresolved cases by other clients that bought gadgets that ended being faulty after a while. Most of them, it appears are being played in the never-ending mouse and cat games.

“All they do is giving out fake promises”, he concludes.

Rip off

The 2019 financial Statements for M-Kopa Holdings — public information and attached here: http://cnyakundi.com/how-canadas-government-investment-arm-findev-funded-m-kopa-firings/ — reveal the total annual payroll is US$ 7,069,123 [extract from page 30 of financial statements]

M-Kopa reports over 1000 staff; but statements reveal over half over half of the payroll US$ 3,593,266 is paid to these 25 “Directors and other Key Management” [extract from page 54 of financial statements] which is more than all the African staff members combined. These 25 directors and managers average a pay of KSh. 1,317,530 per month. Kenyan staff are paid 34,000 per month (US$ 312) according to Blacklock’s.

CEO from hell: entrenching poverty

M-Kopa Holdings Ltd pays its Chief Executive Officer Jesse Moore over Sh69,752,914.04 per year according to a whistleblower site Blacklock’s.

Mr Moore, a Canadian national whose firm is funded by that country’s taxpayers has been criticized for underhand dealings such as preying on rural and urban slums to sell his idea of hire purchases on phones and solar products.

FinDev the govt entity and M-Kopa’s financier, refused to comment on the matter when asked in December 2020.

“FinDev Canada has no comment on this matter,” said Angela Rodriguez, spokesperson for the agency. FinDev earlier
defended spending on Moore’s firm to “create good quality jobs in East Africa.”

The $633,000 (Sh69,752,914.04) salary is in stock options, according to accounts.

FinDev bought $15.4 million (Sh1.7 billion) worth of shares in Moore’s company as of 2020. Records show Moore is paid US$250,000 yearly with a contracted 25 percent bonus, the Canadian equivalent of $397,500 (SH43.8 million). Moore also has stock options worth $633,701 (Sh69 million), plus expenses.

“I do recall there were executives from the company there,” one Senator said yesterday. FinDev in a statement said it bought M-Kopa shares to “benefit” Africans and “improve their quality of life.” However, public disclosures indicate M-Kopa’s African employees are paid a fraction of CEO Moore’s salary, and little better than minimum wage under Kenya’s Labour Institution Act.

The World Bank

It is not the first time The World Bank is burying its head in the sand.

Kenya’s Equity Bank mismanaged a Sh500 billion kity meant for Hunger, Safety Net Programme but nothing happened.

In December 2007, Financial Sector Deepening – Kenya (FSD Kenya) issued a Terms of Reference (TOR) requesting expressions of interest (EOI) for a pilot project to distribute cash payments to 60,000 beneficiaries in the most remote parts of northern Kenya. FSD Kenya was a specialist development programme originally established by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) to provide a continuing mechanism through which donor agencies in Kenya could pool their efforts to support the development of inclusive financial markets. In addition to DFID it was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), World Bank, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and the Gates Foundation. Because of its local expertise and experience in financial service development, FSD Kenya was asked by DFID to take responsibility for developing a solution to the payments element of HSNP. FSD undertook a long process of market preparation before issuing an open call for tenders to provide payments services. The continuing objective of the HSNP was to deliver long-term guaranteed cash transfers to chronically food-insecure households. The pilot programme was aimed at 60,000 households in the four northern districts of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, and Wajir. …READ MORE


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