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September 18, 2018

Graft to blame for low county revenue

Jambo Pay CEO Danson Muchemi and Governor Evans Kidero during the signing of the agreement to collect revenue on behalf of  City Hall. 08-04-2014.chrispinus wekesa
Jambo Pay CEO Danson Muchemi and Governor Evans Kidero during the signing of the agreement to collect revenue on behalf of City Hall. 08-04-2014.chrispinus wekesa

Weak enforcement and corrupt officers cost the county billions of shillings in revenue every year. This is despite the county having automated revenue collection.

JamboPay executive officer Danson Muchemi, whose company the county contracted to automate collections, on Thursday said eJijiPAY relays real-time information on compliance to county officers for action.

“For instance in parking, this system shows which vehicle is parked on which street, name of parking attendant and whether the vehicle has been paid for or not,” Muchemi said.

He appeared before the county assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee, which wants to establish why the county’s revenue performance has decreased despite City Hall increasing levies and automating revenue streams.

Muchemi appeared before the Robert Mbatia–led committee alongside county secretary Peter Kariuki, Finance executive Allan Igambi, head of internal audit Edward Gichana and head of county revenue Bernard Njihia.

Minority whip and Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok collects Sh2.8 million each day from parking, compared to the Sh2.5 million before the automation and the increase of daily parking fees from Sh140 to Sh300.

“I want to know if the county is getting the value for money by automating these services. Because we are still using the same officers that we have been complaining are corrupt,” Imwatok said.

Njihia said collections “have not significantly” increased even with the automation meant to eliminate leakages associated with manual collections. But Muchemi sought to absolve his firm from the losses, saying all parking attendants have gadgets to query and clamp non-compliant vehicles. In the last financial year, the county collected Sh9.8 billion through the automated system, compared to Sh7 billion the year before. JamboPay was contracted in 2014.

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