JamboPay, DPP get a month to settle NHIF server seizure row
The High Court has given the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and JamboPay a month to settle their fights over the seizure of servers at the centre of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) fraud suit outside court.
Justice John Onyiego gave the directive to the public prosecutor and Webtribe, which trades as JamboPay, as he dismissed an objection by the DPP to block a suit from the payments processing firm — which seeks protection over the server seizure.
Top officials of National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) have been charged with irregular payment of Sh545 million to Webtribe, which had been contracted to collect payments on behalf of NHIF, in an agency deal the prosecution says led to the loss of Sh1.1 billion.
The police want to secure and retrieve evidence for a criminal case against the company, its directors and NHIF officials.
The court heard that the DCI had threatened to take over the company’s servers, a move Webtribe says would make it unable to meet its contractual obligations as a payments processing company for a number of firms including the NHIF.
Justice Onyiego gave the two parties a month to settle their differences and appear before him on April 25 for review of the suit.
Webtribe inked a three-year deal in 2014 with NHIF to collect monthly contribution on behalf of the fund in exchange of commissions.
The contract was extended for a year to 2018 when NHIF opted to purchase the payment system from Webtribe for Sh495.2 million.
Webtribe is said to have raked in commissions in excess of Sh1.1 billion over the four years before selling the integrated revenue collection system to NHIF.
Geoffrey Mwangi, the chief executive officer of the National Health Insurance Fund, his predecessor and 16 other officials were charged with abuse of office and irregular award and extension of a contract.
Other suspects facing charges in the fraud case include the directors of Webtribe, Danson Muchemi and Robert Muriithi, who denied fraudulently receiving more than Sh1.1 billion from NHIF.
JamboPay reckon the seizure of its server will amount to a breach of intellectual property rights, privacy and injure the firm’s right to provide commercial services for value, for which liquidated damages may not be adequate remedy.