, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Motorists in the Kenyan capital should prepare to pay higher parking fees starting Monday, after the City Council of Nairobi (CCN) maintained that it would go ahead and implement the plans.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia said on Thursday that the amount was "cheap" compared to what people in other parts of the world pay for parking vehicles in the cities.
"In Central London, you cannot drive into the city centre because in a day you pay $57(Sh4,610). The lowest charges are in Milan where you pay $27(Sh2,184)," he said.
"If we look at Africa, in Cape Town, you pay $7 (Sh565) a day in Pretoria $5(Sh400) and Johannesburg $6(Sh485) so why are you people crying when we here are just charging $4," he asserted.
The council sent notification of the new parking charges this week, slapping motorists with a Sh300 daily charge up from the Sh140 beginning from November 1.
"In any event, what we are saying is that CBD the main one in town here, in Westlands and Upper Hill I think paying $5 or $6 is not bad."
He said this will go a long way in decongesting the Central Business District.
"There is no parking spaces in the CBD anywhere in the world where you just come, park your vehicles and then in the evening you go and have one for the road and then leave at 7.00pm," he said.
"Parking space in the CBD is meant for business. You go there, have lunch or do your shopping and go."
He pointed out that the money collected will help the council provide essential services to city residents.
"Sh250 million will be spent this financial year on road maintenance from the money that we collect. Sh500 million will be used to construct or reconstruct new roads," he said.
"In the last 18 months, City Hall has invested close to Sh100 million on high masts in the informal areas and we do not spend our money to put up a sign that says that we have built a high mast," he added.
The Town Clerk said that those saying they were not consulted when City Hall was coming up with the fees and levies structure for the city were not being sincere.
Mr Kisia said the recommendations had been supported by everyone and no objection was raised when the budget was read and passed by the council\’s Finance Chairman.
He said they were just implementing the recommendations which had been agreed upon before the budget was read.
"When we read the budget, you said it was a very good one. And you were even told how and where we were going to raise and finance the budget," he said. "We consulted you fully, you agreed with it and you agreed with how it was going to be financed. Thank you."
He called on Nairobi residents to keep an open mind as the increase would raise the standards of doing business within the city.
"When we have roads full of pot holes, you run and buy a four-wheel drive to deal with the problem instead of dealing with it," he said.
"What about the millions of Nairobians who cannot afford a four wheel drive? What happens to people who live in Kibera and Mukuru kwa Njenga, what happens to them?" he posed.
"If you now say you want world class infrastructure, you must pay for it."
A statement from the council said that charges for on-street parking for saloon cars would be Sh300 up from Sh140.
Lorries weighing three to seven tonnes will now be required to remit Sh1,000 up from Sh800 while the fees for motor bikes would remain at Sh50 within the Central Business District.
Off- street parking within the CBD that is non-automated will rise to Sh400 per day from Sh200 while in automated parking; Sh50 will be paid for entry plus an additional Sh15 for every 30 minutes.
Seasonal parking for private cars will now be Sh3,000 up from Sh2,000 per month while 43-seater buses will have to part with Sh8,000 up from Sh4,000 monthly.
But lobbies including the Kenya Alliance Resident Associations and the Nairobi Central Business District are considering taking legal action to block the implementation of the new fees.