Court blocks plan to increase parking fees

A court has permanently stopped the Nairobi City Council from increasing parking fees within the central business district.

Justice Weldon Korir ruled that the council and the Ministry for Local Government should not demand or impose parking charges levied contrary to provisions of the Traffic Act.

Mobile toilets

“The new charges were introduced in contravention of the provisions of the Traffic Act,” the judge ruled.

However, firms offering mobile toilet services suffered a setback when the judge dismissed their application to stop the council from introducing new charges.

Nairobi council published a gazette notice on October 15 2010 in which it revised its parking charges from Sh140 to Sh300 for private cars and Sh500 to Sh1,000 for public service vehicles.

It also set new rates for mobile toilet services.

The decisions were contested by Kaka Travellers Cooperative Savings and Credit Limited and the Matatu Welfare Association who argued that the council acted illegally by making by-laws in contravention of the provisions of the Traffic Act.

They were joined by Brooms Limited, Just Stuff Limited, Porta Loos Kenya and Unique Loos Limited who argued that the council did not provide services to support the introduction of charges in the mobile sanitary services.

They submitted that they were denied the right to natural justice by not being given a chance to file objections to the new levies. This was in breach of their legitimate expectations, they said.

Operations would stop

If the increase took effect, the applicants argued that its members will be driven out of business.

In response to the suit, the council submitted that quashing the increase of parking fees will halt its operations.

However, Justice Korir in his judgment dismissed the argument.

He said that when Parliament vested certain powers in the council, it did so on the understanding that it would act within the law.