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Shylock firm CEO earns massive Sh70 million from preying on Kenyans

Jesse Moore, CEO of M-Kopa

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.

Entrenching poverty

M-Kopa Holdings Ltd., a door to door sales company, markets cellphones, appliances and household loans at interest rates estimated at an expensive 254 percent a year.

Analysts say even with the given risk, such a loan should not go past 50 per cent per year.

“What M-Kopa is essentially doing is to put more people into poverty by burdening them with things that glitters which in the end most struggle to pay. This is not the way and explains the losses they’ve incurred’, an analyst told

M-Kopa reported two-year losses of $51 million (Sh5.6 billion) in its most recent financial statements.

M-Kopa has declined multiple requests for details on its operations. The company is so prominent in Nairobi, executives were invited to a 2018 banquet at the Canadian High Commission attended by a traveling delegation of MPs and Senators.

“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 publicdisclosures 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.

M-Kopa customer agents are paid as little as $312 a month. The minimum wage in Nairobi for a salesperson is $294 a month.

The CEO is a former Toronto child activist once praised by the Toronto Star as a “voice of Canada’s youth” and a “leader of tomorrow.” Maclean’s magazine in 1997 named Moore among 100 Canadians To Watch. “We are a dynamic generation that has come of age in a bilingual, multicultural country,” he was quoted.

Moore now lives in Nairobi. Prior to becoming chief executive at M-Kopa he was a director with CARE Canada, and a 2006 participant in a federally-subsidized youth forum called Action Canada that included We Charity co-founder Craig Kielburger.

Moore in a 1996 interview with the Edmonton Journal said he was highly motivated.

“I realized as a young person I had no time to waste and I could do whatever I wanted to do and I could conquer the world,” said Moore.


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