Managers of firm contracted to manage NHIF revenue collection streams
Friday, September 25th, 2020
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji yesterday dropped corruption charges against bosses of WebTribe Limited, trading as Jambopay, over Sh1.1 billion National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) case.
The DPP through his senior assistant Alexander Muteti informed trial magistrate Victor Wamukule that the State would instead use director Robert Muriithi Muna and WebTribe CEO Danson Muchemi as prosecution witnesses.
Wamukule, however, allowed the DPP’s application to have a charge of fraudulent acquisition of property against Muchemi, Muriithi and the company withdrawn under section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedural Code (CPC) as they had been treated as state witnesses. The court ordered their Sh2 cash bail be refunded.
Haji seeks to have the charges against the two dropped on grounds they give evidence against there co-accused persons surrounding the award of the contract of revenue collection at NHIF.
“That pursuant to lawful compromise between the DPP and the Muchemi and Muriithi of Web Tribe, the court does grant a pardon to the office of prosecution as enshrined by Section 5(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Act.
That consequence thereto Muriithi and Muchemi be freed and or discharged as accused persons in this case and or any other case arising from the same or similar fact,” said Muteti.
The prosecution claims that Muchemi and Muriithi will be useful as prosecution witnesses since they will give evidence against their co-accused persons over the award of the Sh1.1 billion contract to their firm to manage NHIF revenue collection.
Muchemi and Muriithi of WebTribe limited had written to the DPP asking them to review their decision to try them in the case.
The DPP in a letter dated June 5 through Muteti agreed to have the charges dropped on grounds that Muchemi and Robert make full and frank disclosure of the circumstances surrounding the award of the contract.
Muteti said that Muriithi and Muchemi were pardoned on condition that they would give testimony as well as allow their staff to testify in the case.
Another condition the prosecution gave is that WebTribe commits themselves to implement and complete the contract for the system purchase.
Further, negotiations regarding any outstanding payments be undertaken between WebTribe Limited and NHIF without involving the ODDP’s office.
“Following your request for the review of the decision to charge your clients Danson Muchemi Njuji, Robert Muriithi Muna and M/S Webtribe Limited we have reviewed the evidence on record and your offer as captured in Danson Muchemi Njuji’s affidavit sworn on November 2019 and we are amenable to having the charges against the three terminated and under section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code..,” reads the letter.
Murithii and Muchemi through lawyer Steve Ogolla agreed to be state witnesses although they allegedly received millions of taxpayers money from the national health insurer.
In November last year, Muriithi and Muchemi were charged alongside 18 others, including former NHIF CEOs Simeon Ole Kirgotty and Geoffrey Mwangi, acting company secretary Ruth Sudoi Makallah, senior IT official Gilbert Gathuo Kamau and assistant financial manager Irene Rono and Legal Affairs Manager Pamela Nyabok over the scam.