City Hall defends JamboPay deal before House Committee

The Nairobi County Government’s procurement department has defended the deal with WebTribe Ltd, the firm that owns e-payment system JamboPay, saying the company awarded the tender after reaching the threshold required by the Public Procurement Act.

While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Nairobi County’s procurement director Solomon Obiero said that out of the 65 companies that had showed interest in the bidding to collect revenue through automated systems, WebTribe emerged the best after a technical and financial evaluation.

“The county government had aertised for the expression of interest on the tender on e-payment where 65 companies showed interest. 18 companies were vetted for the request for proposal and Webtribe emerged the best,” said Mr Obiero.

Mr Obiero said that WebTribe scored 69 per cent at the technical evaluation stage, beating the CBAVirtual City bid which came second at 62 per cent while Craft Silicon was dropped at the financial evaluation stage having failed to meet tender requirements.

READ: Kidero brushes off MPs’ call to cancel e-payment deal

PAC, led by Robert Mbatia, also questioned the relationship between WebTribe and KCB in the initial stages of its bid.

Mr Obiero in his defence said that after questioning the evaluation committee on the matter, it was revealed that WebTribe had initially brought KCB in as a partner but the lender had failed to show up during the demonstration stage.

“KCB had teamed up with WebTribe but not as a financial partner, and when they failed to appear at the demonstration, WebTribe stood alone and won the tender,” said Mr Obiero.

Wider payment platform

He said that JamboPay had demonstrated that it had a wider payment platform as it was connected to all mobile phone networks and 32 banks while second place bidder CBAVirtual City had only access to Commercial Bank of Africa and Mpesa platforms.

He claimed that JamboPay also had more experience as it had been used by other companies to collect money on their behalf, adding that in the bidding process JamboPay had the least transaction fees.

Mr Mbatia however raised concerns over the county not fully automating revenue collection using JamboPay and system failure due to power blackout and network downtime.

Mr Obiero however defended JamboPay saying City Hall had taken long to map out all revenue collection systems, but also blamed staff for laxity stating that it was a way for some of them to defraud the county government using the manual system.

READ: MPs petition EACC to probe Kidero over Jambopay deal