What you need to know:
- Justice Ogola issued interim orders suspending the directive pending the hearing and determination of a petition challenging it.
- Commission for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ) sued the county for arbitrary raising of parking fees.
- The case was filed after investors raised concern over indiscriminate increases in taxes and levies.
The High Court in Mombasa has suspended a directive by Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s administration to double parking fees in the county.
The ruling by Mombasa Resident Judge Erick Ogola means that motorists will now pay Sh100 as parking fees instead of the Sh200 which took effect on January 20, after the county reviewed the levies.
Justice Ogola issued interim orders suspending the directive by the devolved unit pending the hearing and determination of a petition challenging the directive.
The judge noted that the petitioner, Commission for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ), has an arguable case and has raised fundamental issues of law that need to be addressed before the directive is effected.
“The court should not allow the increased parking fees to continue before the substantive issues raised in the petition are dealt with. An interim order suspending the directive is hereby issued,” the judge said.
Justice Ogola further directed the county and the petitioner to file and serve substantive documents within five days. He ordered that the matter be placed before Justice Dorah Chepkwony for hearing and determination.
CHRJ, through its Executive Director Julius Ogogoh, sued the county for increasing parking fees by 100 per cent.
The group told the court that the devolved unit and County Public Service Board failed to follow due process in enacting the County Finance Act, adding that the Act was not published in the National Gazette or any recognised publication before being implemented.
The county unsuccessfully attempted to block the suspension of the directive.
The devolved unit asked the court not to suspend the directive, saying that it needs money to implement its 2019/2020 budget to enable it offer services to residents.
The case was filed after investors in the county raised concern over indiscriminate increases in taxes and levies, which has raised the cost of doing business in the county.
Apart from the revised parking fees, the county has also increased the cost for single business permits, liquor licences and hotel levies, a move that players in these sectors have warned will destroy the economy of the county since most businesses will find it difficult to operate considering the harsh economic times. The case will be mentioned on February 5.