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Why JamboPay will stay longer at City Hall after expiry of contract

JamboPay is set to stay longer at City Hall even after the expiry of their contract in April this year.

This comes after Nairobi Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chair Robert Mbatia said that the electronic payment firm will need to stay for at least three more months to allow for a smooth transition.

The firm’s contract is set to expire on April 7, 2019. It was contracted in 2014 to supply, implement and maintain an automated revenue collection and payments solution for a period of five years.

Currently, City Hall relies on JamboPay’s electronic payment service e-jijiPAY to collect its revenue.

EXIT PLAN

Mr Mbatia explained that the county government needs to appoint a transition team that will agree on the modalities of the exit of JamboPay.

He said that the team will comprise members of JamboPay and members of the executive drawn from the audit and ICT committee, as well as those from the County Treasury who will agree on how the two parties will part ways.

“The executive is not ready for an exit of JamboPay. If they were to exit today, how are we going to collect our money? We will need at least three months after April because I am sure there has been no discussions on what next after their exit and if they were to exit then we will be left worse off than we were in 2013,” said Mr Mbatia.

The firm will however be engaged on different terms during the three months transition period.

He said that the committee will summon the executive next week to gauge how prepared they are for the exit of the company.

On January 7, the firm’s parent company Web Tribe Limited wrote to the county government expressing its intention not to renew its contract which expires in April.

READY TO HAND OVER

Web Tribe chief executive officer Danson Muchemi said that they were ready to hand over its system to City Hall, ahead of the expiry of their contract while recommending the setting up of a joint transition team, that shall oversee the handover, expressing their readiness to facilitate the process.

“In the spirit of good faith and to ensure continuity, we wish to hand-over the system to the City of Nairobi, ahead of the expiry and do recommend the setting up of a joint transition team, which shall oversee this handover. We confirm our readiness to facilitate the process, and ensure its success,” read in part the letter.

Mr Mbatia, however, said that the county had paid for the system at a cost of about Sh30 million and the agreement was that JamboPay was to run the system for City Hall for five years before handing it over.

“What I initially saw is that we paid upfront for the infrastructure and that means that they were to leave the system,” he said.

FULL ACCESS

Nonetheless, Mr Mbatia said that the MCAs will want to see that the executive given full access to the operations of the system saying that they have always had issues with the system’s back office monitoring system.

“If they leave the system to us then we must have full management of it but if they are going to leave it to us the way they have been operating it then it is as good as them still operating it.

“If we do not get full access to the operations of the system then we would rather go another route. We will even go to court to make sure that we get a system that members of the executive will run and not blame anybody else,” he added.