JamboPay Divorce with Nairobi County- Five Days Later

Nairobi County Government now has own e-revenue collection system

JamboPay has been providing County 47 with e-revenue collection services for five years, since 2014. The initially signed contract was to end in April, 2019. However, by that time, the county was not ready to let JamboPay go. This is because they did not have an alternative mode of revenue collection. Letting JamboPay go at that stage would have been a great challenge for City Hall. Probably they would have reverted to the manual payment which would mean losing a lot of money.

JamboPay contract was therefore renewed in order to enable the county government have more time to get their own e-revenue collection system ready for use. What is clear from the expiry of the contract is that both parties have been waiting for it. However, JamboPay seems to have been waiting for the moment more than the county government; contrary to what most of us would expect. The reason for this could differ with each party.

JamboPay said that the parting has been long overdue. They said that they feel they have given the Nairobi County Government enough time to set up their own system.

“We cannot stay in migration mode forever and so we are disabling our services starting Friday when our contract expires.” Said Mr. Dominic Kosgei, the Chief Finance Officer for JamboPay.

“…we have stopped all our e-revenue collection services for Nairobi.” Mr. Danson Muchemi, the CEO for JamboPay announced.

Nairobi County Finance and Economic Planning Executive, Charles Kerich also announced that their own system was ready for use. He said that they had spent adequate time testing the revenue collection system and had confirmed it was set to replace the JamboPay system having fed all the data they needed.

Although the policy allowed up to a 90-day extension of the contract period, the county government felt there was no need to do so as they had everything rightly positioned. Mr. Kerich even accused JamboPay of having delayed the transition a bit alleging that they had not handed over some key components in good time. These include USSD short code and the Pay-bill account.

Since JamboPay took over the offering of e-services, payment for services such as parking, small business permits, food handling certificates and other licenses has been very smooth and efficient. The firm was managing over 136 revenue streams for the county.

The Nairobi County Government has since Monday, June 10 2019 taken over the JamboPay task as they had promised. You probably have seen the short code being advertised on televisions currently. That is their own payment system.

The county said that they will soon be unveiling the Pay-bill account details to make the process as easy as it has been with JamboPay. The new USSD short code that the users have been using since June 10 is *235#.

The New Experience

On Monday, June 10 2019, motorists got a hectic moment with the new payment system. The smooth transition that the county government has been preparing to have did not really happen. This is because motorist were distressed as they attempted to use the new system. Both those who had some know-how of what they were to do and them that had no clue at all suffered almost the same way.

They complained of system failures and delays in communication, as well as missing out information. Unfortunately, the city park attendants were nowhere to be seen to offer assistance.

A press statement released by the Nairobi County government confirmed the citizens’ fears that they (the county) were not yet ready to take up the task. The release informed that I T experts for City Hall worked overnight on Saturday 8th  and Sunday 9th to have the system up and running on Monday 10th– the usual ‘last minute rush’ Kenyan culture.

Regardless of the hitches experienced, JamboPay and the County 47 are officially apart. Now that there is no alternative, the new county financial management system must work and Kenyans must learn how to go about it. It might take a while, but eventually everything will be stable.