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Nairobians continue agonizing over Sonko’s new parking system – VIDEO

Motorists in Nairobi will have to get used to spending time in their cars as they wait for the new revenue collection system to start running smoothly.

Since the launch on Monday, motorists have complained of the persistence glitches while paying, with some taking as long as two hours for their payments to go through.

But Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended the new system saying that any new system is bound to have challenges.

He however assured city residents that City Hall will ensure everything begins running smoothly soon.

“Even when JamboPay was starting they experienced hiccups with the system during the first two weeks, we have to start somewhere but the ICT team is working tirelessly to ensure the process is seamless,” said Sonko.

He also wondered why the county was being criticised harshly while it might also be the carrier’s network which is malfunctioning.

“What is wrong if a common mwananchi doesn’t pay parking for a day or two? Let them enjoy, it is the county which is going to lose,” he said.

FRUSTRATED

One frustrated driver said he had spent more than an hour waiting for the system to go through, time he would have spent doing something useful.

Another motorist said he was assured that his car was safe and that even without making the payment it wouldn’t be clamped.

“The county attendant just told me to leave the car behind and go on with my business because the problem was on their side,” he said.

Sonko has come under heavy criticism from a section of city MCAs and motorists who are blaming him for rushing the new system and failing to have it tested thoroughly before it was rolled out.

“Although we will eventually overcome the challenges, the system would have been introduced gradually, first by testing several revenue streams that are not very busy to know the challenges that might be encountered,” Nairobi county assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Robert Mbatia said.

The new system was set up after the county to cut ties with JamboPay, the revenue payment platform operated by Webtribe limited last week.

DAILY PARKING FEE

Since Monday, City motorists have complained of the hitches and also being charged more to transact in the newly introduced revenue collection system by Nairobi County government.

On top of the hitches being experienced, some motorists have had to pay an additional Sh25 in parking fees, something Sonko has promised to address.

Under the previous service provider, motorists were only charged a onetime fee for loading their e-wallet. One could load as much as they wanted onto the e-wallet and get billed just Sh200 for parking in the subsequent transactions.

In the new system, motorists have to make their payments using *235# USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). The money is pulled directly from M-Pesa -there is no e-wallet- meaning the extra Sh25 is a daily fee.

While many motorists are yet to be accustomed to the changes, those in the know have faced challenges in execution of transactions.

Nairobi County E-Government Chief Officer Peter Mukenya on Monday said the minor hitches are a normal because the system is still being “fine-tuned”.