Ailing tycoon Jared Kangwana’s Maisha Micro Finance Bank stands on quick sand

Financial institutions regulator Central Bank of Kenya is being persuaded to launch investigations into operations at the struggling Maisha Micro Finance Bank. There is increasing uproar against the bank following revelations of suspicious and dubious operations ostensibly presided over by the top management.

The institution is the thirteenth deposit taking bank in Kenya after it was licensed by the CBK in June 2016 but all has not been well from the early days it opened its door opened. Its operations have been constantly shrouded with gestures that only raise eyebrows as in most cases, it finds itself against stipulated rules under the micro finance Act. Power players calling shots at the ailing financial institution are said to have shocked the financial world when they applied for over 25pc against the observation in the shareholder limits.

Jared Kangwana

Many players were left shocked when the new kid on the block hurriedly arm-twisted top officials in the bank’s treasury and demanded for the approval to allow one of its shareholders to bag more than 25pc of the issued share capital. Kamu Limited associated with one of the top managers automatically became one of the approved to hold in excess 25pc of the bank, a matter that is causing jitters.

The controversial Kamu Limited is owned by Jared Kangwana’s family, which has investments in financial, insurance, hospitality and real estate sectors. For starters, Kangwana is one of the directors of the bank with its head office at Chester House, along Koinange Street in Nairobi. The board chair is Beatrice Sabana while other directors are Alejandro Lago, Nelson Bichanga and Ramal Shah.

Other top managers are Nicholas Mutua (head of credit), Elizabeth Mungai (head of audit), Nelson Aol (head of Buncassurance) , Michael Murithi (head of management ), Robert Kariuki (head of finance and administration ) while Ireneus Gichana is the overall chief executive officer.

Ireneus Gichana

Sources say Gichana due to Kangwana holding major shares has no respect for other directors and openly gets directives from Kangwana.

Many are wondering aloud how the microfinance was licensed to operate bearing in mind, Kangwana’s tainted past in the president Daniel Moi regime when at one time he was linked to money laundering.

Maisha is one of those struggling microfinance banks that is experiencing difficult times and have lost deposit accounts according to a recent report by International Monetary Fund.

It is said, one of the directors, Kamal Shah, has raised concerns over the bank operations. Our source revealed, Maisha due to failure to break even has not opened new branches across Kenya as it had been planned in its blueprint and serves less than 50 customers a day.

Most accounts are said to be dormant.

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