JamboPay trade name claimant testifies in court

Web Tribe CEO Danson Muchemi. PHOTO | FILE
Web Tribe CEO Danson Muchemi. PHOTO | FILE 

The owner of JamboPay Express Ariff Manji has told the High Court that the online payment platform whose trade name his company has been sued over is not active.

Testifying before Justice Farah Amin, Mr Manji said no transactions were currently being made on its UmojaPay platform.

“We are still in business talks with the clients listed on the platform and haven’t had the final sign off for the payments to go live,” he said.

Mr Manji told the court that the company was yet to make a profit since it was incorporated in October 2012 and was only operational because of the offline payment services it was offering in Kisii County.

The online payment firm is embroiled in a legal battle over the JamboPay trade name with rival firm Web Tribe Limited, which runs the Nairobi County online payment systems for parking, rates, water and other services.

The Mombasa-based businessman told the court that there was a verbal agreement with Web Tribe CEO Danson Muchemi that he could go ahead and use the name of the company that they had jointly come up with.

“There was consent from Web Tribe to use the name we had formed together during negotiations and after the talks collapsed I went ahead and incorporated JamboPay Express limited,” he said.

Web Tribe which trades as JamboPay is accusing Mr Manji’s company of using business secrets revealed to him during the failed bid to buy a 60 per cent stake in the firm to set up the rival online payments platform.

Through lawyer Tom Ojienda the firm quizzed Mr Manji on intentions to invest in online payments prior to the negotiations and why he set up his on platform a few months after his technician had performed a thorough check of Web Tribe’s online payment systems.

“The technician came in during the negotiations because there was need to ensure that the online payment systems were secure enough for people to transact on because at the time we were going to work together.

JamboPay Express began its operations in January 2013 but it was only later around June that we set up our online payments platform,” he said.

Mr Manji denied allegations that he had poached employees of Web Tribe to set up the company.

Hearing will continue on May 27.