Fate of new parking fees to be known Friday

January 25, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – A case seeking to have the new parking fee rates suspended until all matters surrounding the increase are settled, will now be determined on Friday afternoon.

The decision was reached after the High Court Judge Daniel Musinga heard arguments from the Nairobi City Council, a private motorist and a cooperative society on Tuesday.

The council, through its lawyer Ken Ogeto, wants the court to throw out the case arguing that it lacks basis.

“What KAKA Travellers wants to get injunction orders for has already been implemented and there cannot be anything stopping it. In addition to that, dealing with conservatory orders will raise serious issues relating to jurisdiction,” he said.

However KAKA Travellers, through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, questioned the legality of imposing the Sh250 parking fee based on a consent order with an individual.

“One individual cannot bind the entire city of Nairobi outside the law because the law is very specific. If you want to hike parking fees, there is a legal way of doing it. You cannot circumvent the law by going to court and getting someone and agreeing with them,” he countered.

Mr Kinyanjui added that the council should have followed laid down procedures before revising any fees.

“We are in a different dispensation from before where the rule of law is actually a constitutional demand and right of every citizen. The City Council can therefore not act as it wishes; you don’t act on whims. You have to have justification for increasing the parking fee,” he argued.

But Mr Ogeto challenged Mr Kinyanjui’s argument saying his application was not procedurally filed. He said that the injunction orders sought should only be given in an application that was made according to the law.

“He has the right to challenge the consent order but he has to do it within the law. And if he has a valid concern, he should have approached the court in accordance to the law,” he said.

Justice Musinga last Friday granted orders for the implementation of new parking rates after the council reached an-out-of-court-settlement with a motorist, Henry Mwingira. The agreement saw the fee revised downwards from the gazzetted Sh300 to 250.

Lawyer Henry Kurauka who is representing Mr Mwingira explained that his client withdrew his case after holding consultations with the council.

He claimed that during the said meeting, the council promised to streamline its parking fee structures both within the Central Business District and without. A timeline was however not established.

Mr Kurauka also argued that all court applications be made within the confines of the law.

However Mr Kinyanjui dismissed the argument saying: “Justice shall be granted without technicalities and the law states that the court should not be restricted because of technicalities.”

Friday’s decision will determine whether or not Nairobi residents will continue paying Sh250 for parking.

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