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September 24, 2018

Queries after City Hall fails to account for Sh238m parking fees

City Hall Inspectorate officials clamp a vehicle in town. /MONICAH MWANGI
City Hall Inspectorate officials clamp a vehicle in town. /MONICAH MWANGI

Auditor General Edward Ouko has questioned Nairobi county's failure to account for Sh238 million raised from vehicle parking fees.

In an audit report for the year 2015/2016, Ouko noted that of the 2,117,165 vehicles eligible to pay parking fees, only 1,321,565 vehicles paid.

This means that 795,600 vehicles or 38 per cent of the expected payees did not pay. Parking fee in Nairobi is Sh300 per day.

"The management is yet to put in place adequate measures to cap the non-compliance," he says in the reports for the period under review.

In 2017, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said parking fees will be Sh150 if he is elected the next governor.

At his manifesto launch, the governor also said vegetable vendors will not pay a single coin to do business in the city.

More on this: Sonko pledges Sh150 parking fee, no charge for mama mbogas at manifesto launch

In 2013, Governor Evans Kidero increased parking fees from Sh140 to Sh300. This enraged drivers. Governor Mike Sonko had pledged during campaigns to restore it to Sh140.

City Hall also intends to increase the number of parking slots from 12,000 to 20,000 with the aim to collect least Sh3 billion annually.

These measures are contained in the Treasury's 2018-19 County Fiscal Strategy Paper to improve revenue collection, which has been declining since 2013.

More on this: Parking fees to fall from Sh300 to Sh200 to increase revenue

CLAMPING

Ouko further noted that Sh21million was lost in the clamping department.

The report showed that the system reflects 27,358 vehicles as having been clamped for non-payment of parking fees in the year under review.

But he noted that 10,672 vehicles, representing 39 per cent of the number clamped, were released without payment or the requisite approval.

Peter Mbaya, City Hall director of operations, told the Star on Thursday that a clamped vehicle attracts as Sh2,000 penalty.

"The county lost revenue owing to the unauthorised releases. Weak controls has made the clamping system prone to manipulation," he said.

Ouko notes that there is no system for monitoring whether fines for the clamped vehicles are paid for or not.

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