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Sakaja blasts move to charge parking fees in Nairobi estates

Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja has termed as unacceptable a proposal by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to levy parking fees in residential areas.

He further argued the NMS are out of touch with the suffering of Naiorbians who are already hard-pressed with the effects of Covid-19.

“It’s quite inconsiderate of what Nairobians are going through. Many people leave their cars in the estate when they don’t have money for fuel which has also gone up. We can’t raise parking fees in town to reduce congestion then follow people to their estates and tax them again when they leave their cars there,” he told Nairobi News.

Sakaja noted that as the Senator of Nairobi County, he’d pushed for the allocation up from 15 billion in 2017 to 19 billion in the current financial year, which should be enough to cushion the county to meet its needs without overburdening Nairobi residents.

The Senator said he would summon the NMS and Nairobi County government to the senate after recess to revoke the proposal.

Nairobi county, on June 24, announced it will gazette more parking areas within the capital to grow its internal revenues.

According to Nairobi Finance and Economic Planning CEC Allan Igambi, the move is part of new revenue-raising measures to ensure City Hall meets its revenue target of Sh19.8 billion against a budget Sh39.63 billion for the year starting July.

The county currently charges a daily parking fee of Sh200 and got revenues of Sh1.5 billion in the financial year ended June last year, against a target of Sh2.8 billion.

In its efforts to collect Sh 3.02 billion this financial year, City Hall will gazette more parking areas and charges based on location and estates.

“We plan to gazette more parking areas and introduce zonal charging of the parking bays to increase revenue from parking fees,” said Mr Igambi while reading the city county’s budget statement and Finance Bill, 2021 on June 24.

Nairobi’s city centre’s total car parking space consists of 14,864 slots, of which 3,941 consists of on-street parking, representing 26.5%. Off-street parking slots are 3,834, while 7,089 are building parking.

City Hall, in its Finance Bill, 2019, had demarcated the capital city into three zones for purposes of collection of parking revenue.

The county government has been charging for parking in a zonal system with Nairobi demarcated into three zones.

Zone I consisted of the central business district (CBD) and Kijabe Street, and motorists were to be charged Sh400 as a daily parking fee, up from Sh200.

Zone II will pay Sh200 daily parking fee. This area includes Westlands, Upper Hill, Community, Ngara, Highridge, Industrial Area, Gigiri, Kilimani, Yaya Centre, Allsops, Mwiki, Dagoretti, Kawangware, Kangemi, South B and South C.

Other areas within the same zone are Nairobi West, Lang’ata, Madaraka, Makadara, Buruburu, Umoja, Kayole, Embakasi, Donholm, Muthaiga, Milimani, Hurlingham, Lavington, Karen and Eastleigh.

Zone III includes all other commercial centres, excluding those in Zones I and II, and motorists will pay Sh100.

Private vehicles on seasonal parking were going to part with Sh7,000 for a month, Sh18,000 for three months, Sh32,000 for six months and Sh55,000 for twelve months.

Buses, which are not public service vehicles, were charged Sh1,000 per day to park within the CBD.

However, in December 2019, Nairobi public transport operators rejected City Hall’s increment of parking fees, especially in the CBD.

Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and the Matatu Owners Association also sued City Hall over the decision, complaining that city motorists were not given sufficient notice by the city county as required under the law.