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Economy

Sonko defies MCAs on e-payment deal

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Governor Mike Sonko has defied a directive by ward representatives to terminate City Hall’s contract with e-payment platform provider Web Tribe for breach of contract.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), ICT executive Newton Munene could not explain why the contract was not terminated a year since recommendations by county assembly.

The PAC recommended termination of the deal for delays in remitting of revenues to the County Revenue Fund account (CRF). The contract requires Web Tribe to settle all City Hall’s transactions within 12 hours for cash transactions and three days for all electronic payments in daily batches.

The firm that collects City Hall’s revenues on its JamboPay platform withheld Sh2.82 million for 57 days in January 2015 and Sh51 million last February for six days, raising fears that the funds may have been used for trading.

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“An advisory was given and an extension of this went to the Senate who made a ruling that we should end the contract. There are implications of the same which we have deliberated,” Mr Munene told the committee.

This comes amidst City Hall’s inability to hit its revenue targets since 2013 despite automating collections.

Nairobi collected Sh8.8 billion in the year to last June, a 10 percent fall from Sh9.8 billion generated in a similar period to June 2017.

City Hall signed the contract with the e-payment service provider in April 2014 under the Evans Kidero-led administration which is set to expire on April 7

The firm is also at the centre of investigations into the loss of billions of shillings at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in cumulative payment for provision of integrated revenue collection services as part of the Integrated Revenue Management System.

Two company directors were last December charged with the loss of Sh1.2 billion in the questionable payments by NHIF.

The e-payment firm last year threatened to end its contract with Nairobi County after ward representatives accused the company of laxity and corruption, resulting in huge revenue losses.



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