Kidero defends Nairobi e-payment

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero Wednesday responded to accusations of corruption levelled against his office accusing disgruntled businessmen of attempting to ‘soil’ his track record.

Three Nairobi County legislators, Benson Mutura (Makadara), Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) and George Theuri (Embakasi West) had last week called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the revenue collection system used by the county, saying the city was getting a raw deal as revenue collections had dropped.

“This deal raises a lot of pertinent questions that need to be addressed promptly to stop the further pilferage of public funds in the name of enhancing efficiency,” said Mutura.

Kidero however insists the adoption of the JamboPay system has increased revenue collection by 14 percent (Sh1.4 billion) adding that if the system was fully adopted, there would be an overall revenue growth of up to 30 percent (Sh2.2 billion) per annum.

“The accountability and transparency achieved through automation of revenue collection has of course made some beneficiaries of the past manual system unhappy, but the Nairobi County Government has moved on and assures all Nairobians that the current system was procured in strict adherence of the law,” said Kidero.

And despite the Auditor General having raised a red flag over the deal urging the Nairobi County to terminate the contract as soon as possible, Kidero maintained that the system was full proof and had been embraced by the public.

He stated that more than 85 percent of all Single Business Permits and seasonal parking payments, 70 percent of all parking penalty payments and 86 percent of all liquor licenses were now paid through the JamboPay portal.

“The fact is that more Nairobians are enjoying the ease of payments that comes with the automated system and the county’s revenue collection is on the rise since automation has sealed loopholes that were prevalent in the manual system,” he said.

The auditor had also warned that there was no value addition in using the system proposing that the contract be terminated before the situation became ‘complicated’.

“The county government has ceded one of its greatest activities of revenue collection. No evidence has been presented to indicate that there will be additional revenue collected; there is likely to be loss of revenue,” stated the audit report.

On the question of procurement and whether JamboPay was favoured by the county, Kidero maintained that the procurement law was fully adhered to as Webtribe which was eventually the cheapest bidder was awarded the five-year tender, further clarifying that the company was only paid a 1.25 per cent commission of total revenue and not 4.5 as indicated by the auditor.

“JamboPay is a youthful company owned by Kenyan entrepreneurs. It has proved its worth in the time when it has been in operation, and the County Government is keen on supporting creating jobs for the youth by availing them such tender opportunities,” said Kidero.

JamboPay is used to by over 2,000 other organisations in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal and Tanzania.