, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – The City Council of Nairobi (CCN) said on Wednesday that it would now follow due process in licensing taxi operations in the city centre, after a court outlawed its initial plans.
Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa said the council would push for amendment of by-laws after the High Court quashed their earlier move on Tuesday, terming it unprocedural.
"The court only said that we did not follow the correct procedure. It did not however say that we cannot regulate the taxi business in the city. We have those rights, only that probably we left some loopholes for them to launch complaints," he added.
The High Court on Tuesday quashed a decision by the council to register taxis afresh and designate operational areas, saying the action was done through a memo instead of amendments to existing by-laws.
The council was also accused of initiating the changes without consulting the taxi operators. The court had said the Town Clerk denied the taxi operators a chance to be heard when the rules that directly affected their rights were effected.
According to Justice Roselyn Wendoh, city by-laws were being changed unilaterally without hearing or consulting the stakeholder – the taxi operators. She said that the changes may totally affect their rights to livelihood.
The applicants were challenging a January 18, 2010 memo which sought to make it mandatory for all taxis to be painted yellow and temporary permits issued pending compliance with other requirements.
Mayor Majiwa spoke as he launched an initiative to replace all metal manhole covers in the city with plastic ones. According to Mr Majiwa, this would reduce accidents caused by exposed manholes.
Mr Majiwa said plastic manhole covers which cost Sh10,000 were cheaper than the metal ones costing Sh30,000.
"We have had these problems in the city because people have been stealing manhole covers and this is a situation where every month, city council loses close to Sh30 million in replacing stolen manhole covers," he explained.
"It is also a big problem to the pedestrians in the city."
"We have about 40 million manhole covers in the city but we are not going to replace all of them at once… we are going to do it in phases," he said. "We are going to start with the CBD, after which we will roll it out in the entire city."