Joe Mucheru, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, has completed the sale of his stake in Kenya’s digital money remittance company BitPesa. The action follows a promise he first made in 2016 to eliminate the conflict of interest that was created when he was appointed ICT CS. Until December 2017, Mucheru was a minority shareholder of BitPesa, a bitcoin remittance company founded in 2013.
On Wednesday, the CS disclosed that he made ten times the initial amount from the sale of his stake. Mucheru did not reveal the exact amount of the sale.
“I divested in BitPesa fully, so I am not conflicted. I am able to talk here without having any conflict,” Mucheru said.
Mucheru stepped down from BitPesa’s board after his appointment to CS. His plans to sell his stake in 2016 were delayed as potential buyers hesitated to make the purchase based on the warning against bitcoin by the Central bank of Kenya. In fact, CBK also ordered local banks from doing business with BitPesa. As a result, BitPesa has not been registering new Kenyan users since September 2017.
However, the company is going strong with operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Mozambique, Spain, Luxembourg, UK, and it plans on launching in South Africa soon. The company handles trade volumes of nearly$10 million per month.