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Economy

Safaricom cuts City Hall Internet services over Sh3.2m unpaid bill

Nairobi county ICT executive Charles Kerich. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Nairobi county ICT executive Charles Kerich. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM on Wednesday disconnected Internet services at City Hall over a Sh3.2 million unpaid bill, delaying services at the Nairobi county offices for the better part of the day.

The affected services included Internet connection at the county offices, cash payments for items like land rates and permits, issuance of receipts and verifications of bank and cheque payments.

“Safaricom bills the county Sh3.2 million quarterly but payment was delayed and they disconnected Internet at 9am,” said county ICT executive Charles Kerich.

“We made a commitment to settle the bill and it was reconnected around 11 a.m.” A spot check by the Business Daily at 4pm revealed long queues with those affected saying normalcy had returned after 3.30pm.

Mr Kerich said Safaricom’s fees was not part of the creditors under verification.

Nairobi governor Mike Sonko moved to the High Court seeking a moratorium to allow City Hall audit pending bills amounting to Sh60 billion inherited from Evans Kidero’s administration.

“The payment is due and we will settle it. The outage was temporary,” said Mr Kerich.

JamboPay chief executive Danson Muchemi said services at the cash office were interrupted, but online operations were not interrupted.

He said they have automated more than 90 services and the revenue collection ranges between Sh80 million and Sh90 million a day.

The Treasury has in the five months to November allocated City Hall Sh7.68 billion, which was nearly half its annual allocation. This has raised questions on why City Hall is struggling to settle bills and meet its obligations such as garbage clearing.

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