, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – The High Court has blocked the Nairobi County Government from charging taxi operators parking fees if they have valid operating permits from City Hall.
Justice Isaac Lenaola issued the restraining order on Friday after an association representing taxi operators complained to the court that they were subjected to double taxation.
The court issued the order after the operators produced evidence of payment of the 2014 single business permit for taxi operations that take effect from March 11, 2014.
Nairobi Senator Gideon Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko has also been enjoined as an interested party in support of the cabbies.
The court allowed Sonko’s application on grounds that there is substantial interest in the matter by Nairobi County constituents on the issue of parking fees. The case will be argued from April 4.
On Wednesday, matatu and taxi operators went on strike to protest the increased levies, blocking traffic within the city and on other roads including Mombasa, Jogoo and Thika roads.
Monthly seasonal tickets for private salon cars now stand at Sh5, 000 while buses have to pay Sh8,000 to operate at designated terminals.
Over 100 taxis which have not yet been claimed after they were seized during the strike have now been moved to the Nairobi County Government’s impound yard in Dagoretti.
According to City Hall’s Head of Parking Tom Tinega, the owners should first collect their held number plates from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles before facing charges at the City Court for obstruction and causing disturbances.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero vowed that the County Government will not be blackmailed to revise the charges merely because operators are protesting.
The government had said that it will withdraw the operating licenses for Saccos whose matatus blocked roads while protesting the increased parking fees.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau had said that every vehicle involved in the mass action will have their registration numbers withdrawn.
Kamau explained that the operators seriously inconvenienced other Kenyans who had nothing to do with the strike from going about their normal business.