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Nairobi MCAs oppose parking fees in estates

Members of the County Assembly in Nairobi have opposed a move by the and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to charge fees on cars parked in the residential areas.

The move comes amidst opposition from various stakeholders with the Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations also threatening legal action over the matter.

While opposing the planned move, the Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations committee chairperson Robert Mbatia said the assembly is the only entity mandated to determine the levels and areas where fees are to be charged.

He further explained that revenue-raising powers by county governments are domiciled in Section 133 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, but the assembly is required to approve a Finance Bill to sanction any such moves.

Towards this, Mr Mbatia pointed out that the assembly has enacted various revenue-raising laws to anchor the various taxes, fees and charges imposed by City Hall with Finance Bill, 2018 being the last by the assembly.

Subsequent Finance Bills have neither been assented to nor published in the Kenya Gazette.

However, this bill later enacted in law allowed the county government to collect parking fees from commercial buildings in shopping centres outside the city centre but not within residential areas.

“The committee hence wishes to clarify any attempt to collect parking fees for vehicles parked in residential areas is illegal and is not backed by any legislation from the county assembly,” said Mr Mbatia.

Currently, motorists in Nairobi pay a daily on-street parking fee of Sh200 in the city centre while other areas outside the city centre attract a charge of Sh100.

The Sh200 fee is a stop-gap measure after the court thwarted plans by City Hall in December 2020 to increase the fee in the city centre to Sh400.

However, the Consumer Federation of Kenya protested the decision rushing to court, and ever since the court has been issuing extended orders stopping the planned increase.

Last month, City Hall announced that it is working on a new policy, Nairobi City County Draft Parking Policy, that will see introduction of time-based parking fee charges for both on-street and off-street parking across the county.

This will see the hourly charges range between Sh40 and Sh100 as part of the Ann Kananu-led administration’s plan to boost parking revenue as well as streamline parking services in the city.