Webmasters Developers Seeking Ksh1.5 Billion to Release eCitizen Website

  • Webmasters Developers have demanded Ksh1.5 Billion from the government in exchange for rights to the eCitizen portal.

    According to the company's proprietor, Mr James Ayugi, he still holds the intellectual property rights to the portal that has so far raked in about Ksh30 Billion for the government.

    "Just like any other software, the intellectual property rights over eCitizen belong to the developers, who in this case are Webmasters," he told reporters.

    Ayugi argues that he built and still supports the site yet the government has not compensated him in proportion to the proceeds the portal has raised.

    Webmasters Founder and CEO James Ayugi

    Ayugi accused the Treasury ministry, who currently run the site, of withdrawing convenience fees that were previously payable to the developer.

    Activist Okiya Omtatah is believed to have been behind the withdrawal of the fees after he challenged the selection of the web company to build the website as well as a Ksh50 allocation for every transaction on the site which the lawyer argued was too high.

    Regional Director of the International Finance Corporation Cheikh Seyid defended the selection of Webmasters adding that it was chosen after complying with World Bank guidelines.

    In a letter, Seyid explained that the World Bank footed the bill for a pilot of the digitization effort on condition that the site was able to conduct at least 10 government services, for which the developer was paid Ksh7.5 Million.

    "Accordingly, IFC can also confirm that Webmasters Kenya completed all tasks required to be provided under its procurement contract with the World Bank Group and has been paid the agreed contract price..." Seyid wrote.

    Over 200 services have since been added to the platform which has led the developer to claim annual license fees from the government.

    Webmasters CEO James Ayugi demonstrates the working of the eCitizen portal to President Uhuru Kenyatta during a past workshop