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BitPesa Board Member Departs Following Kenyan Government Appointment

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on January 11, 2016 at 19:00 GMT
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Bitcoin remittance startup BitPesa has lost one of its board members following his appointment to a government position.

Nairobi tech news site TechMoran reported today that Joe Mucheru, who previously served in a regional leadership role for Google, is stepping down from BitPesa’s board and is divesting his shares in a bid to remove any conflicts of interest in his role as head of the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology.

Mucheru was named to the post in November, according to local reports, a move that came amid a reshuffling of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet.

Mucheru told TechMoran:

"I’ve formally resigned from the board of BitPesa and I’ve put my shares on sale. The process is ongoing."

According to the publication, Mucheru is also divesting an ownership stake in a home entertainment firm called Wananchi Group.

When reached for comment, BitPesa co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Rossielo confirmed the departure.

"Joe Mucheru has been an essential part of BitPesa's story from the beginning and we wish him all the very best on this next stage in his career," she told CoinDesk.

BitPesa, which last year raised $1.1m in funding, is seeking to disrupt the region's remittance market by using bitcoin. The startup currently serves consumers in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

However, firm is currently a party in a lawsuit involving money network M-Pesa operator Safaricom and Lipisha, a payments gateway based in Kenya.

Last month, a judge ruled that the suit can move ahead months after M-Pesa cut off access to Lipisha and, as a result, BitPesa, citing the latter's work with digital currency.

Image via Shutterstock

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