KARA moves to court over parking fees

October 28, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) on Thursday afternoon moved to court to bar the Nairobi City Council (NCC) from doubling parking fees in the city.

KARA Chairman Stephen Mutoro who met the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Local Authorities, Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) and other stakeholders said they were seeking for orders to overturn the Council\’s unilateral decision.

"We are expecting a ruling tomorrow (Friday) because we are moving in under certificate of urgency," he said.

In the affidavit in support of the case Mr Mutoro accused the council of increasing the fees without consulting relevant stakeholders and without producing audited books of the money the council collects as parking fees.

As they moved to court, public service operators vowed to boycott paying the new rates if City Hall went ahead to effect them come Monday.

Matatu Owners Association National Chairman Simon Kimutai said City Hall should partner with private investors to put up more parking spaces in the city instead of merely rushing to make life difficult for motorists through high fees.

Mr Kimutai said the new rates would give city council employees who are accused of printing fake parking tickets a chance to seek more bribes from motorists.

He rubbished claims by the Town Clerk claiming the increment would contribute to the decongestion of the city centre, saying private motorists should be blamed since they are the ones who park their cars for full days.

Kenya Bus Service Management Limited Managing Director Edwins Mukabanah said the poor public transport network did not give city residents a reliable alternative means of transport.

In papers filed in court, Mr Mutoro said the council did not provide adequate parking spaces and accused it of licensing spaces meant for parking for other businesses.

He asked NCC to produce audited books of money collected from parking and explain how it is used.

"The council has failed to provide the required services. You cannot come up and say that you are increasing fees so that you can decongest the city, how much have you been getting from parking and how has it been utilised, maybe we are paying the Sh300 to ghost workers," he complained.

He further accused the council of traditionally being corrupt citing the cemetery scandal and the issue of \’ghost workers\’.

The KARA boss said Town Clerk Philip Kisia did not weigh the implications the increment would have on the entire transport industry in the country.

He reasoned that public transport would likewise increase charges and so are the fares and goods due to high transport costs.

With allegations that some public vehicles had already increased their charges, he warned that the new charges had not taken effect and asked them to stop using it to exploit passengers.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Authorities Hussein Gabbow who attended the meeting said interested parties will fight the move legally to block the unfair increment.

He said the Town Clerk should have consulted all stakeholders in the industry.

"If he is not going to consult anyone, I am afraid he has to run his home not the city, the power of the people in the new Constitution is very clear, consultation is a must, and those archaic types of statements have no space. We will fight this issue legally," he vowed.

KARA was joined by Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA), Institute of Legislative Affairs and Consumers of Federation of Kenya who affirmed their support to block the increment.



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