Taxis parked along Moi Avenue in Nairobi. PHOTO | NYABOGA KIAGETaxis parked along Moi Avenue in Nairobi. PHOTO | NYABOGA KIAGE
By NYABOGA KIAGE

It’s a weekday in Nairobi and Mr James Kibui is driving along Moi Avenue in search of a parking within the CBD.

To his frustration, all the parking spaces seem to taken either by other motorists or by taxi operators.

After searching for a considerable amount of time, he gives up and drives out of town to to Thika where he lives.

“I wanted to alight at Moi Avenue have a drink before heading home but I have decided to go and do it in Thika. It is so hard to find parking these days within the city centre,” a frustrated Mr Kibui laments.

He is particularly vexed by taxi drivers who are infamous for parking their cars along most the streets all day long at the expense of other motorists like him.

In his view, these taxi drivers should be banned from parking within the CBD because of the unnecessary traffic they cause.

PARKING SPOTS

His views are shared by Mr Josiah Okemwa, who says the Nairobi County government ought to find a permanent solution to this issue.

“The taxis should be permanently banned from parking on the streets within the city center,” he said.

Mr Kibui and Mr Okemwa are among the many motorists in Nairobi who are unhappy with the taxi operators who have practically colonised some spots within the CBD.

Sections of Moi Avenue and areas around Ambassador Hotel and the Kenya National Archives are some of the spots favoured by taxi operators.

Other areas that taxi operators are notorious for parking all day long are at Uhuru Park and along Kimathi Street.

PARKING CARTEL

What is most annoying for some motorists is that these taxi operators have an unwritten rule of only ceding the prized spots for their colleagues.

“That is how the drivers operate, they will never allow you to get space and park your car. That is not fair at all,” said Kibui.

Joan Moturi, also a motorist, claims that most parking spots on the streets of Nairobi are managed by cartels yet county officers still require all motorists to pay parking fees.

However, the taxi operators who Nairobi News spoke to claim that they, like all other motorists, pay the required parking fees.

They have also refuted claims that they are part of a cartel which runs an illegal parking business in Nairobi.

“What we are doing is right and we going nowhere, the same people who are on our neck now usually ask us to drop them home,” said Mr Abraham Gikonde, a taxi operator in the CBD.

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