HEARING ON JANUARY 21

Court stops new parking fees as matatus threaten strike

Judge rules petition by Cofek raises constitutional issues that ought to be determined

In Summary

• City Hall  issued a public notice on December 2 increasing parking fees from Sh200 to Sh400

• Matatu operators vow not to pay the new charges until the Cofek case is determined

City Hall parking attendants
CLAMPED: City Hall parking attendants
Image: FILE

The High Court on Wednesday suspended a notice increasing parking fees within the Central Business District and Kijabe Street.

The new parking charges were to come into effect on Wednesday morning.

Justice James Makau issued the order after Consumer Federation of Kenya argued that the decision to increase parking fees and other charges would adversely affect consumers seeking transport and parking services within the area.

Makau said the petition by Cofek raises constitutional issues that ought to be determined by the court.

City Hall  issued a public notice dated December 2 increasing the parking fees from the current Sh200 to Sh400.

The notice signed by Tom Tinega, the county’s director parking services, indicated the order would take effect on December 4.

The court gave City hall 21 days to file their response ahead of the the hearing date on January 21, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Public Transport Operators has called upon all matatus not to pay the new parking fee charges until the matter is solved.

The body, which comprises of matatu unions, threatened to go on strike if there are any arrests made of their members for failure to pay the new fees.

Chairman of Association of Bus Operators Kenya Edwin Mukabana said the county did not consult them when they passed the Finance Bill.

The County has already effected the changes
The County has already effected the changes

“We are disturbed that the fact we pay Sh40 million per month, the county assembly can pas a finance bill without stakeholder participation,” he said.

Mukabana said the unpredictable and unilateral introduction of new regulations and by-laws that are not backed by social -economic impact assessment is the biggest threat to public transport business.

In the new charges, PSVs with 14 seats are to pay Sh5,250, 41-seater  to pay Sh8,000 and 51-seater to pay Sh10,000.

Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai said the county government deliberately left out the new charges which PSVs are to pay.

“They deliberately did not include the new charges in the notice but on the ground they are pushing we pay the new charges,” he said.

PSV owners claimed the county government of Nairobi has no vote to support public transport priority measures, no functioning department of transport and has no traffic management control centre.

They urged the county government to exempt them from paying parking fee charges, noting that they carry more passengers per road leading to less congestion.

They also want the county to implement the urban transport principle that requires the PSVs to pay less fees than those paid by private cars.