What you need to know:
- They say that the rates are unreasonable, punitive and unjustified.
- They also argued that most vehicle owners will not afford to pay the increased parking fees because of the harsh economic reality.
Matatu operators have moved to court to protest against increased seasonal parking fees.
The Federation of Public Transport Sectors and the National Confederation of Matatu Transporters on Thursday sued Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s administration and the county assembly.
They argued that the city government has not yet demonstrated the need for more funds to be generated from parking fees and that the increased rates are a violation of the law.
“There are general cost cutting measures in the government which has grossly affected other arms such as the judiciary therefore the sued parties herein cannot be allowed to continue living large, they must embrace austerity measures,” the lobbies said.
Through lawyer Henry Kurauka, the matatu operators claimed that over 15,000 public service vehicles control 95 percent of public transport vehicles within the city routes and its environs.
The dispute arose after Nairobi county government issued a notice on December 3, 2019 about its plans to increase seasonal parking fees from Sh5,000 to Sh8,000 for 14 and 41-seater matatus while and Sh10,000 for the rest.
The new rates were to take effect following the implementation of the Finance Act.
But as of January 4, a new notice was circulated which indicated that the said rates would be Sh5,280 and Sh7,200 respectively while those with less than 14 will be charged Sh3, 650.
According to the matatu operators, the first notice was not revoked yet a new has been issued hence violated their rights.
In the filed case documents, they claimed that the rates were initially set by the former governor Evans Kidero but have since been revised by the Finance Act 2019.
They alleged that the county’s director of parking services Tom Tinega has no legal mandate to set timelines for commencement of the Finance Act.
They also alleged that the new rates will have an effect on bus fares to commuters who are travelling after the festive holidays and involved in payment of school fees for their children.
They argued that the rates are unreasonable, punitive and unjustified and that it will worsen the cost of living for city residents.
They also argued that most motor vehicle owners will not afford to pay the increased parking fees because of the harsh economic reality.
They further argued that the timing to increase the rates was wrong and was hurriedly implemented without a proper adequate notice.
Last December, the Consumer Federation of Kenya also challenged Mr Sonko’s administration’s bid to move to double parking fees within the central business district from Sh200.
Buses were to pay Sh1,000 daily while private vehicles will pay Sh7,000 for a one-month seasonal parking ticket.
But the High Court temporarily suspended the payment of parking from Sh200 to Sh400.
The matatu operators now want both notices to be vacated and that the new rates to be suspended.