, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31- The High Court in Nairobi has indefinitely suspended the Sh250 daily parking fees for city\’s residents until all issues surrounding the new rates are settled.
In his ruling on Monday, Justice Daniel Musinga said the hasty implementation of the fee by the Nairobi City Council (NCC) after it reached an agreement with a private individual was irregular, as the matter had not yet been resolved in its entirety.
Justice Musinga said the council had effected the new rates without following proper procedure.
Through lawyer, Harrison Kinyanjui, KAKA Travellers Co-operative Savings and Credit Society Ltd faulted the council for effecting new rates, which were based on a consent order with a private motorist.
In his application, Mr Kinyanjui questioned the legality of the new rates saying they should only be applied to the individual who consented to them.
"It is not right that one individual should go to the city council and say let\’s go to court and let\’s agree that we should levy this amount of parking fee per day without consultation and without following the law. I mean that\’s like the law of the jungle," he said.
He further lauded the move by the court saying the new rates were a breach of Kenyans\’ Constitutional Rights.
"Why were Kenyans asking for a new law if they cannot follow it; if they cannot obey it? But here are citizens saying we want our constitution followed so let the city council honour that. For now parking fee has gone back to Sh140 until the court decides the dispute," he said.
"If any parking attendant should impose any fee over and above the Sh140 per day per vehicle that will be illegal and in contempt of court. And we will seek the punishment of the city council if they do that," he said.
The matter will be heard again in court on February 21.
Last October the NCC moved to more than double the parking fees charged within the Central Business District. Soon after, KAKA Travellers and a private motorist, Henry Mwingira, filed separate applications separately to halt the new rates.
However, on January 21 this year, Mr Mwingira withdrew his application after reaching an agreement with the council where they agreed on a Sh250 parking fee. The council went ahead and effected the new rate despite the unresolved case involving KAKA Travellers.
KAKA Travellers again moved to court under a certificate of urgency arguing that their matter had not yet been resolved. They maintained that the fee was illegal and only applicable to Mr Mwingira. They then asked the court to intervene.
The council however asked the court to throw out the application saying it lacked basis. The council together with other respondents also questioned the court\’s authority in resolving the dispute saying it lacked jurisdiction.
Justice Musinga however countered both arguments saying the application was valid and that the court had authority to settle the matter.
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