On May 15th, Techspace Africa published an article detailing the woes of Kenyans who had taken to social media to accuse Watu Africa, a leading asset fintech company of malpractice and exploitation. Now, the Kenyan Senate has cleared the startup of any wrongdoing after a thorough investigation into allegations The inquiry stemmed from concerns raised by Senator Nandi Cherargey about the firm’s motorcycle loan practices.
Senate Committee Satisfied with Watu’s Response:
The Senate Committee on Trade, Industrialisation and Tourism conducted a comprehensive review of Watu’s operations, requesting detailed information regarding customer complaints, police reports, refunds, and loan practices. Upon receiving and analyzing the company’s submissions, the committee found them “sufficient” and closed the investigation, effectively exonerating Watu.
Watu Credit Welcomes the Decision:
“We are thrilled with the Senate’s decision,” said Erick Massawe, Watu Credit Country Manager for Kenya. “Providing the requested information was straightforward and transparent, demonstrating our commitment to responsible and ethical business practices. This clearance serves as a strong validation of our operations and reaffirms our dedication to empowering Kenyans through financial inclusion.”
Watu’s Impact in Africa:
In an interview with Techspace Africa, Massawe insisted that motorcycle theft is a big problem in the industry, but not a big problem for Watu. “There are 2.4 million motorcycles in Kenya according to NTSA. If you factor in the number of loans that we have given in Kenya, probably around three to four out of every ten motorcycles in Kenya have been financed by Watu. This means that out of ten motorcycles that are being stolen in Kenya, four of them are owned and operated by Watu. This is why you hear about Watu more often, it is because of our contribution to the industry and market share.” He had said.
Massawe argues that despite the bad light the company has faced, Watu Africa is an entrepreneur’s dream. So far, Watu has loaned assets to 600,000 customers, impacting the lives of three million people. Of these, 400,000 customers own these assets. Watu Africa has also received 10,000 insurance claims and so far over 4000 have been settled.