Sh250 parking fees in Nairobi challenged

January 24, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The decision by the Nairobi City Council to increase parking fees has been challenged in court by a firm that has a case pending over the new charges.

Kaka Travellers has filed another application through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, seeking to have the new parking fees suspended until all the pending court cases regarding them are resolved.

The application which was filed under a certificate of urgency is due to be heard on Tuesday morning.

The company will also be seeking a legal interpretation of a court ruling issued last week that City Hall used to effect the new Sh250 daily rates up from Sh140.

Mr Kinyanjui said he wanted the court to make an interim decision on behalf of all applicants including Nairobi residents.

"We expect that the court will issue an injunction; that means that the court should stop the levying of the Sh250 parking fee as of tomorrow (Tuesday) until the decision is finally made in the entire case. We are calling for the suspension of these fees," he said. 

The Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) was also enjoined in the submission which was open to any interested parties. Mr Kinyajui argued that the joint effort would put more weight on the matter and ensure that the situation was amicably determined.

"And in the meantime, the court has also given permission to any Nairobi resident who would like to come on board and support our position," he explained. 

The matter will be heard by Justice Daniel Musinga who declined to issue ex-parte orders (based on Mr Kinyanjui\’s request) and instead directed that the council also attends the hearing and determination of the motion.

"The court will make a finding because I can\’t make an injunction now but I will certify the matter as urgent," he said.

Justice Musinga had on Friday granted orders for the new parking rates after the council reached an-out-of-court-agreement with a motorist – Henry Mwingira. Together with the council, Mr Mwingira consented to a daily parking fee of Sh250.

However Mr Kinyanjui argued that the agreement was unlawful saying it should only affect Mr Mwingira and not all Nairobi residents.

"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 on 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," he countered.

But in a quick rejoinder, the council through its lawyer Ken Ogeto disputed Mr Kinyanjui\’s argument saying he was misinforming the public.

"Mr Kinyanjui was challenging parking fees for 14 seater matatus and not private cars. He should therefore, desist from misleading the public," Mr Ogeto said.

He added that the ruling made on Friday did not affect Mr Kinyanjui\’s application whose initial hearing date was set for February 26.

Various motorist lobby groups including the Motorists Association of Kenya also called upon the government to intervene in the new parking fee rates.

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