Nairobi News

HustleNews

Kidero in a spot over Sh350m a year pay to Jambopay

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was made to explain why the devolved unit was paying Sh350 million a year to a private company to collect revenue on behalf of the county.

Mr Kidero was asked to tell the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee on Wednesday why he preferred to pay the millions of shillings to Webtribe Ltd for Jambopay revenue collection services instead of picking one of the other two firms that can do it for less.

Webtribe was contracted to collect revenue on behalf of the county government and rolled out the system in 2014. In five years, the county government would have paid Sh1.7 billion to the firm.

According to the auditor-general’s report being scrutinised by the House team, Virtual Mobile and Craftsilicon showed interest in a similar payment system. Each was demanding Sh191 million annually.

The auditor-general said the devolved government would have paid about half of what it was paying had it asked Kenya Revenue Authority to do the work.

NO VALUE ADDITION

“There is no value-addition using the Jambopay system. The City County government entered into a contract with the service provider despite the fact that KCB raised concerns that it would not team up with the firm,” said the auditor-general.

“This could imply fraud on the part of the service provider and favouritism on the part of the county government.”

Dr Kidero, who defied the Council of Governor’s orders not to attend the session after a scuffle with Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko in the last meeting, told the committee, chaired by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o that the audit was done when procurement documents for the system were before the Public Procurement Oversight Authority.

He said the auditor-general could not know why the county had opted for Webtribe. Mr Kidero said he had already requested for an audit on the system.

QUESTIONED MOTIVE

However, the committee members still questioned the motive behind giving the company the tender even after it quoted a higher figure.

“This is an expensive system but we would have accepted it if it was efficient. The auditor has found that it is ineffective. There is no justification for using the system,” Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said.

The governor defended Jambopay, saying it had helped the county double its revenue.

“We were collecting Sh6 billion annually but with the system, we are now getting about Sh13 billion. You cannot say such a system is bad,” the governor told senators.