, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The High Court is due to make a ruling on a move to hike parking fees in Nairobi on December 6 after hearing of the case concluded with final submissions on Tuesday morning.
In the hearing which took place before Judge Isaac Lenaola, lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui who was representing 26 matatu Saccos argued that the law used to raise the levy was unfair since Public Service Vehicles (PSV) spent less than ten minutes within the Central Business District.
Kinyanjui also stated that the law is in direct contravention of the Constitution and as such should be rejected.
“Your Honor, what the County Government of Nairobi did is wrong. Matatus spend less than ten minutes in town and you can imagine if they were told to pay Sh300 parking fees every time they come to the CBD. They would make huge losses,” he said.
He further pointed out that the move would encourage other counties to implement similar measures and this would be unfair to motorists.
“If this is allowed in this county, then other counties would follow suit. They will increase their levies arbitrarily and this would by extension impact the residents negatively,” he stated.
He further described the move by the Nairobi County Government as arbitrary and saying that enough notice was not given and if allowed his clients rights will be violated.
Lawyer Tom Ojienda who represented the County Government on the other hand stated that the Finance Act under which the legislation was enacted did not violate the rights of the petitioner in any way.
“The county invited public participation before enacting that particular law. Stakeholders in the matatu industry were also invited but they did not show up to the meetings. They in effect chose not to attend and as such cannot blame the County Government to enact that particular law,” he indicated.
He defended the move and said that the county government had the power to create legislation that set the levies for parking charges.
Matatu operators had sued the County of Nairobi, Nairobi City County Board and the Attorney General for seeking to effect an irregular Sh300 parking fee.
They argued that they have not been duly notified of the existence of the proposed increment and were not involved in determining an issue that directly affects them.
The legislation was to have come into effect following the approval of the County Finance Bill.
It proposed to raise fees for saloon cars parked in the CBD to Sh300 and Sh200 for those parked outside the CBD.
Saloon cars parked in emerging business centres like Westlands, Ngara, Highridge, Upper Hill, Community, Ngara, Industrial Area, Gigiri, Lavington and Karen are to draw the same fee as those in the CBD.
Areas classified as being outside CBD include Buru Buru Shopping Centre, Pangani, Muthaiga, Eastleigh, Ngong Road, Kombo Munyiri, New Pumwani Road, Langata Road, Kariokor and Ziwani Shopping Centre.
Parking in non-automated areas with the CBD would go up by Sh200 shillings to Sh400 shillings while automated parking will attract a charge of Sh50 per hour. Loss of your parking ticket will attract a fine of Sh1,000.
Motorists seeking monthly seasonal parking tickets will part with Sh5,000 from Sh2,000, while those on quarterly season tickets will pay Sh12,000 from Sh5,500.
The County government proposed to introduce half year and full year season ticket which will retail as Sh34,000 and Sh58,000 respectively.