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Kenyan Worldcoin registrants report eye problems and payment issues

By Nyaboga Kiage September 7th, 2023 2 min read

A section of Kenyans who participated in the Worldcoin registration process, which involved scanning their eyeballs for a promised reward of Sh7,000, have raised concerns about experiencing eyesight problems and payment discrepancies.

Worldcoin, a digital currency initiative, had attracted Kenyans by offering monetary incentives in exchange for eye scans.

However, some registrants claimed that they did not receive the full promised amount but instead received only Sh2,000.

One concerned registrant, Mr Marube Mogusu, testified before a parliamentary committee, revealing that since having his eyeballs scanned, he has been suffering from watery eyes.

“My eyes have ever since become watery and I cannot operate without using medical glasses, which doctors recommended,” said Mr Marube.

Another witness, Mr Benard Ayoo, shared a similar experience, explaining that he had been misled by one of the agents who assured him that he would receive Sh7,000 upon registration.

However, Mr Ayoo stated that he only received Sh2,000 after the agent converted the funds into his Worldcoin account and sent them to his Mpesa.

Also read: Data colonisation? Why Worldcoin targets poor countries

Investigations by Nairobi News revealed that registrants who had their eyeballs scanned did not have a written agreement with Worldcoin.

Instead, they were required to confirm their agreement with the organization’s policies by clicking a box during registration.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has launched an inquiry into how Worldcoin obtained licensing to operate in Kenya.

DCI boss Mr Mohamed Amin, disclosed that detectives are scrutinizing the procedure followed when the company received licenses to operate in the country.

Preliminary findings indicate that the company was granted Data Controller Certificates by the office of Data Protection on September 15, 2022, and April 18, 2023.

Mr Kamau Thugge, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), confirmed on Tuesday, September 5, that the CBK had not issued any licenses to Worldcoin for operation in Kenya.

This revelation adds to the growing concerns surrounding Worldcoin’s activities in the country, as both eye-related health issues and payment discrepancies raise questions about the registration process and the organization’s operations.

Also read: Worldcoin responds to Kindiki’s statement