Corruption Case, Dissappearance and an Accident: Why was Danson Muchemi Hiding?

(Web Tribe limited owner Danson Muchemi)

Danson Muchemi the founder and Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the Web Tribe limited which is popularly known as JamboPay is a man who made his billions during the former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s time.

According to his Facebook page, the darling of the media Mr Muchemi was two weeks ago involved in an accident on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway where he suffered a painful body injury which almost claimed his life.

“I have endured 9000 minutes of pain at a hospital in the last 6 days after an accident at Gilgil area that left me with painful body injuries. I have lived the 9000 minutes bravely just like all other days of my life. Praying to God daily for His blessings and mercies and facing every challenge as it comes,” Muchemi said.

The incident happened after months of Muchemi’s hiding away from detectives and the public.

It is known that the billions he made came from a contract he got between City Hall and his cashless revenue collection firm which was questioned by parliament to have been procured corruptly and resulted in reduction of revenue collected.

It is imperative to note that Web Tribe was the least qualified for the job. Web Tribe was charging between 4 and 4.5 per cent but the former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero pushed them through despite other reputable service providers, Virtual Mobile and Craft Silicon, having offered to charge 2.5 per cent of collections in fees.

Owing to his closeness with Dr Evans Kidero,  City Hall signed the contract with his firm JamboPay in April 2014 to automate revenue collection. The firm collected parking fees, rents, permits and land rates.

JamboPay allowed Nairobi county residents to pay for services using their mobile phones, credit or debit cards.

The firm was fraudulently awarded the contract without following the bidding process.

Immediately after automation and hiring of Jambopay, one suspicious thing happened; the parking fee collection dropped from Sh166 million monthly to Sh70 million.

The billions of shillings collected through the JamboPay system was said to have first been deposited in a trust deed private account held by a third party, PKF Consulting which the county government is not a party to.

As if that is not enough, the same firm collected and held funds from other private entities meaning, the billions of shillings that were collected on behalf of the county government were put together with other incomes collected by Web Tribe — the company that owns JamboPay. This was done to make confusion on how much the county government collected every year and that’s how Danson Muchemi became a billionaire over night.

Also note that of all the revenue collected during that period Web Tribe was still having the contract, 4.5 per cent of the revenue went to JamboPay. In its first year of operation, Danson Muchemi pocketed between Sh513 million and sh767 million from the Sh11.4 billion collected. Remember, the records were inaccurate as Webtribe collected other revenue from other firms and also the system did not reconcile the amounts paid by users of the platform, the amount banked and the revenue recorded. You can’t tell the billions in the accurate records.

Danson Muchemi ensured that the county government had no way of knowing how much revenue was collected on their behalf. Sources say, this information was only made known to Governor Kidero and his close associates, and the CEO of Web Tribe.

JamboPay was significantly compromised due to lack of constraints. It was also marred with possible loss of data in the event of system failure as there was no regular backup.  A thing that experts say was a well calculated move to rip-off the county ‘questions became too much’.

The cunning Muchemi ensured county paid him 1.25 per cent of the value of all cash office transactions made using the JamboPay yet there was no contract on the same.

Remember, during this period the county government of Nairobi did not use the International Financial Management Information Systems (Ifmis). It’s during that very year when County Executive committee member for finance transferred Sh11.3 billion — the amount from the Exchequer — to operation accounts in several commercial banks without written approval from the Controller of Budget, who is mandated to authorise withdrawals from the County Revenue Fund. The main aim was that this amount was not reflected in Ifmis together with other receipts via JamboPay.

Seperately, he controversially signed a deal to offer payment services to NHIF in 2018. This has put the NHIF Senior Management on the spotlight for theft of public funds and will soon be guest of DCI. Seems like Muchemi’s time at the top is about to be over.

The Web Tribe limited owner now boasts of over 1.2 million users and 10,000 merchants. His contract with city hall ended because his JamboPay system was not transparent.

Danson Muchemi was mentioned in the over sh357 million garbage payment scandal which saw Mike Sonko’s bank account frozen but the cunning Muchemi is still walking at large.

After hiding from the authorities, is he now claiming painful body as a way of escaping the DCI dragnet? Sources say that the said accident is a way of making a come back to the public and to allegedly sign more fictitious contracts even as the case against current Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko heats up.

The big question is; why was Danson Muchemi hiding?

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