Troubled JamboPay Threatens to Quit Controversial City Hall Deal
WebTribe Limited, the proprietor of the controversial multimillion electronic revenue collection contract JamboPay has threatened to end the deal with City Hall citing frustrations and political intimidation.
Webtribe Limited and Nairobi County Government Jambopay deal has been clouded by mystery since its inception and has been marred by court cases and petitions to the Ehics and Anti-Corruption Commission over the procedure the lucrative contract was awarded.
Today, JamboPay CEO Danson Muchemi wrote a protest letter to Nairobi governor Mike Sonko through letter reference number Our Ref:WTL/2018/NCC/02/12-HQ dated February 26, 2018.
“JamboPay is committed to supporting your agenda to transform Nairobi County through the provision of an efficient electronic payment service e-jijiPAY. We are, however, facing serious challenges that the letter serves to bring to your attention,” the letter reads in part.
The outburst has been preceded by massive e-jijiPAY system breakdown.
Previously, former Makadara Member of Parliament Bernard Mutura petitioned the anti-graft agency to investigate validity of the contentious deal citing questionable clauses in the contract agreement.
The Informer established that among the much contested provisions in the contract agreement, a copy of which we obtained is the secrecy and confidential information clause that provides that information and data exchanged between Nairobi County and Webtribe, a privately owned firm, will be kept a secret despite the county being a public institution.
Further, the the rationale used by the county, to delegate a devolved function to a third party of recruiting and appointing NCC revenue collection agents to Web Tribe has been put to question.
“The parties undertake to keep strictly confidential all information and data exchanged between the (including those in the per-contractual stage) as well as the terms of this contract for the contracting period.” Part of the contract agreement reads.
Section 2.1.5 of the agreement highlights appointment and/or recruitment of NCC revenue collection agents as one of rights and obligations extended to Webtribe.
Webtribe was awarded the contract through No. NCC/ICT/RFP/114/2013-2014 at a contested bid of Sh23, 200, 000 and a recurrent operational cost of 4.5 per cent of total actual revenue collected through Jambopay.
“The transaction fee payable to Webtribe by NCC shall be an equivalent of four point five per cent (4.5%) of all the funds collected through Jambopay.” The agreement provides.
However, accountability of revenue and financial records belonging to NCC entrusted to agents recruited and appointed by a private firm despite City Hall running a parallel public Cash Office under Finance department.
Questions have been raised why is the county government avoiding the cash office department within City Hall? How recruitment and appointment is a delegated function and if Webtribe is in charge of revenue collection and custodian of public money.
Provision 2.1.19 of the contract agreement provides that Webtribe will take liabilities for any fraudulent transaction carried out by its users, customers through Jambopay services offered by NCC.
“Fraudulent transaction includes but is not limited to credit and debit cards fraud.” Part of the agreement reads.
Kidero and former Nairobi County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa signed the agreement while two directors; Danson Muchemi and Robert Muna represented Webtribe.
Ndegwa was sacked and charged over graft allegations.
The contentious contract has already been condemned by the Auditor General Edward Ouko as having flouted various procurement laws and recommended for its cancellation.
Previously, the Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee recommended review of the Jambopay contractual agreement with City Hall.
A report presented before the Nairobi County Assembly by Budget Committee chairman Michael Ogada highlighted the inefficiencies of the Jambopay system saying the county has remained the ultimate loser.
“The committee urges the Finance and Economic Sector to relook at the contract agreements for the e-payment to ensure that the county does not remain the ultimate loser.” The report reads in part.
The report showed that despite the increase of parking fee by over 100 per cent in 2013, the revenue from parking stream had only increased by about 1 per cent only.