Hitches mar smooth start for Nairobi’s new revenue system

Monday June 10 2019

HILARY KIMUYU
By HILARY KIMUYU
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COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Motorists in Nairobi are grappling with the challenges of a new parking fees payment system after City Hall parted ways with JamboPay and announced that it will collect its own revenue starting Monday.

The newly introduced revenue collection system by City Hall is working but with some glitches.

Motorists who made their payments as early as 6am experienced no major problems but as from 7am, the *235# USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code started experiencing hitches.

ERRORS

Some motorists told Nation.co.ke that they were getting errors as they tried to pay for parking.

“I came in early and I had no issue as I paid for my parking at around six in the morning, it went well without a glitch,” said an excited motorist.

But for those who tried using the system after 7am, it was a different story.

Some complained of paying and not getting a confirmation message while others got a message informing them that the code was not working or it was invalid.

“I have been receiving errors in the last 10 minutes that I have tried to access *235# and now I don’t know what to do and I have to get to the office,” said Alice Kimani.

Another frustrated motorist, Mudi Hassan, said he had been trying to pay but could not get through.

“I have been standing here for the last 15 minutes and it is not going through and no one is around to help,” he said.

FINE-TUNING

Commenting on the hitches, Nairobi County E-Government Chief Officer Peter Mukenya said that the minor glitches being experienced is a normal thing as the system is still being "fine-tuned".

He stated that the system has so far been working well and that City Hall engineers are on standby and working round the clock to respond to any reported hitch.

"Obviously this is a new system and challenges will be there but our software engineers are on site and are addressing any hitch reported. However, the system has worked almost to perfection and most people are impressed with it," said Mr Mukenya.

JAMBOPAY CONTRACT

JamboPay’s formal contract with City Hall ended on April 7, 2019 but had been extended twice to aid in a seamless transition as the county accelerated efforts to finalise the migration process and continuity of service from the private provider to an internally managed system which is to be run by the county government.

In the new system, those seeking to pay for parking fees, land rates, business permits and other services will do so by dialling the USSD code *235#.

City Hall’s move is aimed at saving millions of shillings.

READY FOR USE

The new system was set up after the county cut ties last week with JamboPay, the revenue payment platform operated by Webtribe Limited.

On Saturday, Nairobi County Finance CEC Charles Kerich said that they have been testing the new system which he said was ready for use from Monday.

He added that a pay bill number will be announced later.

Mr Kerich said the county government will still continue using the EJijiPay platform which is owned by City Hall but was being powered by JamboPay for the duration of their contract with the county government.

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