TOLL PAYMENT

Muhuri sues Kenya Ferry over use of M-Pesa

In Summary
  • The cashless system was launched in October but came to effect in February
  • Muhuri says KFS has refused to accept alternatives modes of payment, thus inconveniencing hundreds of users
MV Harambee at the Likoni crossing channel Mombasa on October 7, 2015.
MV Harambee at the Likoni crossing channel Mombasa on October 7, 2015.
Image: FILE

Muhuri has sued Kenya Ferry Services for forcing motorists to pay toll charges using Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Muhuri said the directive, which came to effect in February, has grossly inconvenienced motorists using the channel and other ferry users such as handcart pullers and cyclists.

In a petition filed on April 15 at the High Court in Mombasa, Muhuri wants the matter certified urgent and heard immediately.

The civil society group wants the court to further issue temporary restraining orders against KFS management and its workers from imposing payment of the toll charges using M-Pesa.

The group further wants KFS to be obliged to accept all acceptable forms of cashless payment and not only M-Pesa.

In sworn affidavits, by chairperson Khelef Khalifa says the cashless payment system was launched in October 2020 and took effect in February.

He says KFS has however locked out other forms of payment and has made it mandatory for all payments to be made through M-Pesa.

He said even though the step was laudable, especially in curbing the spread of Covid-19, the system was oppressive, discriminative, unfair, unjust and contrary to the Bill of Rights.

The chairman said Kenya Ferry Services has refused to accept alternatives modes of payment thus inconveniencing hundreds of users.

He said the measure has also jeopardised the means and livelihood of many who are likely to suffer irreparable loss and damage.

Khalifa further said he has been a victim of the unconstitutional action of KFS after he was forced to cut short his journey to South Coast as he could not make payment through M-Pesa.

Khalifa said stakeholders were not involved in the launch of the system and therefore it ought to be declared unconstitutional.

Toll stations at the crossing channel have been removed.