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Even clamping fees go up

NAIROBI, October 31 – Parking fees and clamping charges for Nairobi have officially doubled, following the gazettement of new figures.

The notice, which says the fees are effective from October, indicates that parking fees will be broken down to Sh70 for morning and Sh70 in the afternoons.

Clamping charges have also been increased from Sh1000 to Sh2000.

The new charges are contained in a raft of new fees introduced by the city council, which range from parking, business permits, mortuary and cemetery fees, outdoor advertising and even house rent for City Council houses.

Purchase of a monthly parking ticket will now cost Sh2, 000 while that for three months goes up from Sh3, 800 to Sh5, 500.

City Hall has also upped the rent for three bedroom flats in Kariokor estate from Sh6, 000 to Sh9, 870. Rent for houses in Huruma also go up to Sh5, 670 and Sh5, 035 for maisonettes and flats respectively.

The new charges were passed by a full council meeting last week, and approved by Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

The Director of Legal Affairs at City Hall, Mary Ng’ethe told Capital News that the move also aimed to decongest the city streets.

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“There are very many private parking (bays) but people are not parking there. Probably it is because the city council is charging too little. So if we increase and it is at the same level with private ones then probably they will go there and you find that the streets will be freer,” she stated.

Mr Mudavadi justified the new charges on Monday adding that it was still way below what private companies charged. “Private bays charge Sh100 for an hour, where one ends up paying Sh500 a day. So if you compare that with Sh140 really there is no issue,” Mr Mudavadi said.

The Deputy Premier argued that the new charges would affect the upper class in society. The charges have however attracted dissent from the public which is already grappling with hard economic times. Most of those interviewed by Capital News dismissed the assertion that the move would help reduce congestion in the capital.

The National Council of Community-Based Organisations registered their protest on Wednesday and said that the council should have first concentrated in rooting out the corruption which has dominated the parking exercise.

Chairman Tom Aosa said a survey carried by his organisation between June last year and May this year showed that City Hall loses more than Sh1.8 million daily owing to the use of fake parking tickets. Mr Aosa added that the city has over 50,000 parking slots contrary to the council’s records which indicate 26,000. He said that the organisation had forwarded their report to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission for action.

“We cannot allow the City Council to take our money and yet we don’t get the services we pay for. Even after you pay the money you (will not be) guaranteed of a slot,” he said, adding that the motorists are also not assured of the security of their vehicles. A cartel operating in the city centre is notorious for vandalising vehicles, especially side mirrors and lights.

Ms Ng’ethe however said the Council was working on automating the services to curb on corruption. It also hopes to increase the number of booths in a move that will see the parking attendants phased out. “There have been many complaints about our attendants and the fake receipts which we want to minimise. The automation idea has been discussed in the council meeting and in the next one year we will be on the ground,” she said.

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