After months of speculations and accusations against Watu Credit, an Asset FinTech revolutionizing mass-market mobility across Africa through financial inclusion and accessibility, the Senate has cleared the company of any wrongdoing after concluding its probe on the firm over alleged malpractices and exploitation.
In October 2023, the Senate Trade and Industrialization Committee began investigations over complaints of exploitation and suspicious loss of motorbikes sold to boda boda operators by the credit company. Watu has been maintaining its innocence on the matter providing detailed reports on how it operates within and without the country.
“Vide your letter dated 23rd November 2023, the Committee received your response to the information sought. At its Sitting held on 30th November 2023, the Committee observed that the response was sufficient and resolved to conclude and close the matter.
The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to communicate the Committee’s resolution on the conclusion of the consideration of the above Statement,” the Office of the Clerk of the Senate communicated to the company.
Watu Credit officials were summoned by the Senate Committee on Trade, Industrialization, and Tourism following concerns raised by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargey. The committee requested Watu to provide submissions on the allegations of malpractices and exploitation of its way of conducting business in Kenya.
Watu CEO Andris Kaneps, Mr Massawe, the company’s Kenya Country Manager, and Rose Osiemo, its HoD Legal appeared before the senate, to clear the air over its business model and relationship with its customers. The company submitted evidence based on several documents as requested by the committee, then the Senate Committee resolved all allegations against Watu on December 8.
“One of the things we were able to address during this senate submission, we highlighted challenges the industry is facing and one of them is informal set we believe through that platform, the govt will allow players like us to create a platform and bring all stakeholders in one table so that we can discuss the way ford on how to formalize the industry,” Mr. Massawe said.
Watu has provided access to affordable and flexible financing for two and three-wheelers through over 1 million loans across 7 countries and positively impacted the lives of more than 4 million people.
“We are also actively promoting financial literacy and independence, adoption of digital payments, and increased regulatory and safety compliances,” said the company in a statement.
With a minimum down payment and flexible weekly payment plans, Watu grants ownership of bodaboda or tuk-tuk within 2 hours with payment terms of up to 24 months, and the loan comes with comprehensive insurance and GPS tracking services.
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