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City Hall losing Sh1m daily to cartels

Nairobi County government is losing Sh1 every day to cartels that are sabotaging the new electronic system to steal car parking fees.

The system introduced last year has been a stumbling to block to officials who were used to stealing the money when it was collected manually.

JamboPay, a company the county has contracted to manage the e-pay system, says it has been detecting cases of defaulting by motorists, especially in the Industrial Area.

“Our system provides reports showing where motorists are not complying with the system and Industrial Area ranks the highest,” JamboPay CEO Danson Muchemi said on Monday.

However, he could not give details saying; “As a service provider, our work is limited to showing where motorists are not complying.”

COLLUDING WITH MOTORISTS

However, after receiving the report, the county government swung into action and has confirmed that indeed some of the parking attendants are colluding with motorists to evade paying parking fees.

Last week, Finance executive Gregory Mwakanongo said they would start using armed guards to help their officials access these areas.

He said their officials have been attacked as they attempted to clamp vehicles whose owners refuse to pay for parking.

“Hired goons have been attacking our officers whenever they try to access some areas along Baricho Road, behind Nakumatt Mega and in some garages near the Industrial Area Prison,” said Mr Mwakanongo.

“You cannot tell where these goons emerge from but they have been confronting our officials,” he claimed.

A team from City Hall conducted random checks in some of these areas and discovered several cars in garages do not pay parking fee.

ARMED GUARDS

“We want to partner with owners of these garages to see if our officials can access them before we consider using armed guards,” he said.

Mr Mwakanongo could however not confirm whether or not the parking attendants collude with garage owners or the goons.

But investigations have established that some senior City Hall officials who were inherited from the defunct Nairobi City Council are keen to kill the e-pay system, which has replaced the old manual method of paying and collecting the fees.

With the e-system, the wayward officials are unable to divert collections and this is annoying them.

“There is a cartel of senior officials who work with mechanics and owners of trucks that come to these garages for repair to ensure money meant for parking ends up in their pockets,” said an a county government employee anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The county has promised to seal all loopholes officials have been using to steal money as it hope raise Sh30.8 billion proposed in 2015/16 financial year.

The county hopes to increase revenue collection to Sh2.7 million from Sh1.7 million this year, according to Mr Mwakanongo.