The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) online application system was hacked by hackers, which resulted in the suspension of hundreds of construction sector jobs as well as multi-billion shilling property investments.
A report by a business publication+ indicated that the hackers gained access to the System’s Quick Response(QR) code and legally made approvals, which prompted NMS officials to shut down the system.
The e-construction development control system is a policy that was started as a way to make it easier for Nairobi County to approve development plans.
Property developers are no longer required to submit hard copies of development plans for stamping for approval through the system.
NMS Deputy Director-General Kangethe Thuku, who announced the breach and suspension of the projects, confirmed the hacking reports.
“We realised that the e-construction system was recently hacked into have for the time being stopped using that system as we look for a solution,” Thuku said.
Thuku added that the illegal breach was discovered after concerns were raised by different associations, which complained about the rising cases of approved buildings that went against construction policies.
The official gave an example of the zoned-off areas such as Muthaiga North, where most cases had been reported.
City Hall developed the online system in March 2020 in a bid to enhance the process where building approvals could be made online.
However, NMS took over the system after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the entity’s Director-General Mohammed Badi to sweep all the cartels who has taken control of the approved sector.
The President said that the cartels had resulted in a backlog of 4,400 unprocessed project applications at the time.
He further stated that the takeover by NMS, Nairobi county would also deal with corruption cases mainly caused when hard copies of development plans were physically submitted for stamping at City Hall.