CCN: Please give Nairobi residents a break!

April 28, 2012 8:42 am

, The recent award of International Standard Organization (ISO) certification to City Council of Nairobi (CCN) for service delivery is a slap on the face of Nairobi freethinking residents, more so the motorists who get a raw deal regardless of paying through the nose in parking fees and other levies.

To start with the award panel overlooked recent findings by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) that 80 % of the workers in CCN payroll are incompetent and unprofessional. No wonder numerous accusations of wanting service delivery by the now ‘’ISO certified’’ City Hall.

If reading the chronology of complaints in newspaper columns and letters to the editor to various newspapers is anything to go by, it’s not known then which criteria the awarding authority used to gauge the winners of hitherto coveted prize.

Why complain? An award was the last thing expected after the incompetency dressing-down revelations. In fact many including I thought a reprimand and massive lay-offs was in the offing. This is ironic considering the happenings next door at the law courts; an award is paradoxical of the new trend.

For umpteenth time as an organization, we stand to express our opinion in regard to the deplorable conditions of roads under the watch of the local authority in question. From Potholed waterlogged estate roads, unlit streets, encroachments of side walk by hawkers , eyesore illegal structures, raw sewage dripping across roads, open manholes, defaced walls by posters, blocked access roads and old-fashioned markets where vegetable vehicles submerge inside accumulated dirt, surely you don’t mean that? Pedestrians walk by the road because sides are illegally occupied by hawkers.

As if that is not enough punishment to vehicle owners, tow trucks pounce on unsuspecting Nairobians on unconvincing grounds. They charge unreasonably high fees for towing ridiculously short distances. The trucks seem to enjoy some form of protection as they park haphazardly on pavements and are exempted from parking levies, etc. They even drive on the wrong side of the road in full view of law enforcers. Whoever owns the aging contraptions must be very powerful.

The ‘award winning’ parking attendants blatantly negotiate for unofficial fees with intentions of pocketing the spoils for their personal use. Parking meters remain the fairest means for charging motorists for actual time parked. This will prevent static parking made worse by full day charges even when parking for a few minutes. In spite of collecting millions per day, City Hall does not plough some of it to build modern parking facilities such as multi story silos to create more parking. Why don’t they reciprocate? If this is not callous I don’t know what is.

As motorists who pay the CCN through the nose we feel shortchanged by dismal service delivery prompting us to contest the award until when we shall get a “real deal” and value for our money.

We demand nothing short of world standard service delivery for us to recognize prize favoritism not a raw deal and harassment by CCN askaris who frequently insist on getting into personal vehicles in clear breach of the law.

In the same manner we have adapted to paying utility bills through electronic money, Payment of parking tickets should be done in banks, supermarkets, special booths with automated ticket dispensers. Paying somewhere else will reduce the wage bill to fund installation of missing road furniture and light up the streets.

Whosoever issues the awards should be told motorists are not amused and next time could take the feeling of ‘beneficiaries’ of purportedly better services in consideration by inquiring about their plight.

It is very sad that Nairobi motorists are harassed right left and centre by anyone including street boys and girls, muggers, thieves stealing corner lights and of course valuables inside vehicles in full view of CCN askaris and parking attendants.

Surely if these are the reasons that informed the award givers, end time is nigh.

Other African cities are earnestly introducing organized mass transit similar to Scandinavian countries. Organized bus terminus unlike Muthurwa, Machakos country bus termini, Bus station to name but a few. As a city aspiring to become world-class, we ought to come up with transit policies. South Africa, Addis Ababa and lately Kampala together with all western Africa capitals have adopted Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). In Nairobi Taxi Ranks occupy most of parking spaces. The taxis eventually take parking spaces meant for private motorists as opposed to other parts of the world where taxis move around the CBD.

Funny of all Fire engines are centrally stationed at one point inside the CBD making quick response to far flung places impossible.

Please give Nairobi residents a break!

(By Peter Murima, MAK Chairman).


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