NMS halts move to charge parking fees in city estates
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has rescinded its decision to introduce vehicle parking fees in city estates until proper consultations have taken place.
NMS Director General Lt- Gen Mohammed Badi said the move was taken following a massive public outcry.
“I want to make it clear that this is not something that we will just implement without listening to the public. We must review and look at it properly.”
The change of mind came after a week of uproar from the public who termed the decision to charge new parking fees as unjustifiable and insensitive to the economic hardships Kenyans are going through.
Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) said the county government had no right to introduce new parking fees, arguing it had failed to account for the money that they collect.
“Nairobi residents are already over-burdened by numerous taxes and the County Government should give more attention to ensuring that they get value for the taxes by improving service delivery as opposed to introducing measure that will only exacerbate the economic challenges faced by residents,” said KARA CEO Henry Ochieng.
He urged the county government and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services to address claims that cartels were colluding with county officials to divert some of the money from parking charges for personal use.
“KARA will make use of every legal option at its disposal to ensure no parking fees are collected from the estates. We have already written to the Nairobi Finance and Planning CEC demanding the decision be rescinded with immediate effect,” he said.
Ochieng said they had mobilised residents to chase away county officials who will be seen in estates collecting fees.
On June 24, City Hall announced that it was planning to gazette more parking areas to grow revenues.
Finance CEC Allan Igambi, the move was part of new revenue-raising measures to ensure City Hall meets its revenue target of Sh19.8 billion against a budget of Sh39.63 billion for the financial year which started in July.
“We are doing this to increase our revenue targets. Our move is not meant to hurt anybody and we will implement this through consultations,” he said.
Nairobi’s city centre’s total car parking space is 14,864, of which 3,941 are on-street parking, representing 26.5 per cent. Off-street parking slots are 3,834, while 7,089 are buildings parking.
City Hall, in its Finance Bill, 2019, had demarcated the capital city into three zones for purposes of collection of parking revenue.
Recently, the county government also introduced a new draft where motorists will be charged between Sh75 and Sh90 every hour for street parking in the city centre.
According to Nairobi City County Draft Parking Policy, residents will be charged Sh100 hourly for off street parking while parking in other hubs outside the city centre will costs Sh50 and Sh40.
Motorists who spend the whole day in town will now have to part with between Sh675 and Sh900 daily, up from Sh200 currently.