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Politics drove us out of City Hall deal - JamboPay

Danson Muchemi
WebTribe CEO Danson Muchemi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Political interference, mistrust and negative publicity are the major factors that pushed electronic payment platform provider JamboPay not to renew its contract with Nairobi City County, the firm now says.

The revelation was made by Danson Muchemi, chief executive officer of WebTribe, JamboPay’s parent company, during an oversight committee session where the firm’s management was being grilled on Thursday.

On January 7, 2019 WebTribe wrote to City Hall stating that it would not be seeking to renew its contract with the county government which is set to expire on April 7, 2019.

Appearing before the County Assembly Energy and ICT committee, Mr Muchemi said negative publicity the firm has been getting since landing the lucrative contract in 2014 forced its management to make the move.

“We have been accused of stealing money that belongs to the county. We have lost clients as a result of these accusations while some started to doubt our capability,” said Mr Muchemi on Wednesday.

Political interference

He also pointed to increased political interference as the deal neared its end, alluding to certain political figures, whom he did not name, accusing them of trying to meddle in how the firm operates.

The company was contracted by the county government in 2014 to supply, implement and maintain an automated revenue collection and payments solution for a period of five years.

He told the committee that there has been mistrust between the firm and City Hall with accusations from the latter that they have been “stealing” from them.

Last month, JamboPay said it would not participate in the bidding process following advertisement by the county on February 1 calling on interested bidders for the supply, installation, configuration, customisation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of an Integrated City Revenue Management System (ICMS).

Nairobi County ICT chief officer Halakhano Waqo said a transition team is already in place with plans underway to ensure smooth transition from JamboPay to another revenue collection platform.

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