The multi-million electronic revenue collection contract irregularly awarded by Nairobi County through a flawed process from inception was a conduit to fleece taxpayers money.
The 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 re-look 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 shows that despite the increase of parking fee by over 100 per cent in 2013, the revenue from parking stream had only increased by about one per cent only. “The challenges which have faced one of the electronic payment methods, Jambopay, are well documented and do not need to be restated here,” Ogada said.
The Informer has established that among the secrete 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, they are seeking EACC to establish 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. “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.
To deal between Webtribe Limited and Nairobi County Government dubbed Jambopay was awarded the contract through No. NCC/ICT/RFP/114/2013-2014 through corrupt means orchestrated by Webtribe director Danson Muchemi. Blatant violation of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act in the award of the tender in question was made 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.
Further, the illegal agreement provides that 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 which is virtually higher than what kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), a credible public institution with tested system would charge.
The Director of Legal Karissa Iha declined to sign the illegal deal. The Powers that be intimated one Ayungi, a legal officer to regularize the flawed award procured without tendering process to sign under duress.
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. The illegal agreement says that fraudulent transaction includes but is not limited to credit and debit cards fraud.
Last year, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was questioned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over jambopay contract. Makadara Member of Parliament Bernard Mutura petitioned Eacc to investigate validity of the contentious deal citing secrete clauses in the contract agreement. 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.
“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.
“Fraudulent transaction includes but is not limited to credit and debit cards fraud,” part of the agreement reads. Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Nairobi County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa signed the agreement last year while two directors; Danson Muchemi and Robert Muna represented Webtribe. Ndegwa was sacked and charged over graft allegations.
The contentious contract already condemned by the Auditor General Edward Ouko as having flouted various procurement laws and recommended for it’s cancellation.