Cofek sues Nairobi County over parking fees hike
Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has sued Nairobi city county seeking to stop the implementation of plans to hike parking fees.
Through lawyer Henry kurauka, Cofek says that the decision to increase parking fees and other charges is unconstitutional as the Nairobi city did not conduct a proper public participation.
Kurauka also says that if the new charges are implemented, the rights of consumers will be greatly infringed.
“ The Nairobi county’s decision to increase parking fees and other charges will adversely affect consumers seeking transport and parking services within the county government. The action by the Nairobi city county will worsen the current high cost of living,” reads the court papers.
This is after Governor Mike Sonko through director parking services reportedly proposed that Nairobi parking fees within the city centre be increased from Sh 200 to Sh 400 from today(December 4).
According to a statement from City Hall the move to hiki parking fees will increase revenue and decongest the Central Business District (CBD).
The petitioner says that the purported notice to increase parking fees with effect from December4,2019 is unreasonable, short punitive, capricious, untenable, irrational, unfair, ujust, oppressive, unjustified, discriminatory, unlawful,illegal and offends the spirit and provisions of the constitution.
Cofek also in it’s court papers says that the decision that requires busses to pay Sh 1000 daily will have a ripple effect of increased bus fares to commutters who are travelling for festive holidays and preparing to pay schools fees for their children and relatives.
Lawyer Kurauka further says that the Nairobi county Director parking services Tom Tinega has no mandate to set timelines for commencement of the city county‘s finance Act 2019.
Further, the petitioner avers that most motor vehicles owners will not afford to pay the increased parking charges because of harsh economic reality.
“The Kenya economy has shrunk compelling the CBK to cut its projected growth rate for this year. The timing of increasing parking fees is wrong and hurriedly implemented without proper and adequate notice to the public,” says COFEK.
“ That it is the responsibility of the Nairobi city county to ensure that motorist pay reasonable and fair parking fees depending on the time they pay their vehicles within the CBD,” says Cofeck.
The petitioner avers that the county government has not ensured security of motor vehicles of motorists as it has received many complaints by consumers on increased insecurity in the county’s parking zones.
Cofeks says that many motorist in the city county pay parking boys for security because the county government does not provide security even after receiving parking fees.
“That there is no reasonable cause to increase the parking fees at a time when most consumers are struggling to meet basic amenities for their families such as food, housing, healthcare, school fees, clothing, fuel airtime, transport and expenses for other important social and family activities,” says Cofek.