Lawyer warns City Council on increasing parking fees

January 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22- The Nairobi City Council (NCC) was on Saturday warned against rushing into implementing the new parking rates.

A lawyer representing KAKA Travellers Sacco said there was a pending court case which would be determined on February 26 and which therefore blocked the council from implementing the new rates.

Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui argued that the City Council would be breaching the court order if it went ahead to execute the new rates.

“Should the City Council of Nairobi increase the parking fees, then we will not hesitate to take it to court to ensure that they are punished because they are stopped from increasing the parking rates until the court determines our case,” he said.

He added that the new rates were a means for the council to indirectly extort money from Kenyans and that they were a violation of the pre existing laws.

Mr Kinyanjui also asked the NCC to set up parking meters before effecting any new rates arguing that they would best determine how much parking fees Nairobi residents paid.

“Is it fair or just that the NCC should charge a uniform parking fee whether you park for five minutes or five hours and yet the law stipulates that you pay for the parking time commensurate with your stay at the lot?” he quipped.

He further explained that the ruling which was made on January 21 only affected a case that was privately filed by Henry Mwingira, a Nairobi resident, who later decided to withdraw it after reaching an out-of-court-agreement with the council.

“His case was cited as judicial review case number 319 of 2010. He was instituting that case on his own behalf and not on behalf of our client or behalf of other Nairobi residents,” he said.

“Mr Mwingira made a personal decision on January 21 this year to settle his case with the NCC where he agreed to be paying a daily parking fee of Sh250. The rates therefore apply to him only,” countered Mr Kinyanjui.

The case was heard by Justice David Maraga.

Last October the council decided to increase parking fees in the city from the current Sh140 to Sh300, raising sharp opposition from residents and lobby groups.

The Motorists Association of Kenya, the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) and the Nairobi Central Business District Association argued that the increase should serve as a wake-up call for all residents to demand value for their taxes.

KARA also called on motorists to boycott paying the new rates when they come into effect. The group said the move had no justification since the council had failed to assure motorists of security on the streets.

With the new rates lorries weighing three to seven tonnes would remit Sh1,000 up from Sh800 while the fees for motor bikes remained the same at Sh50 within the Central Business District.

Off-street parking 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.

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