Court extends suspension of city parking fee increment

nms parking

The High Court has extended orders barring the Nairobi City County government from increasing parking fees for private cars and public service vehicles (PSVs), offering motorists further relief.

In the ruling, Justice Anthony Mrima on Wednesday said the suspension should remain in force until May 3, 2021, when two petitions lodged by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and public transport sector associations are heard for directions.

The court, in an order dated December 30, 2019, suspended City Hall’s decision to double charges from Sh200 to Sh400 for private cars.

Also suspended was the seasonal parking charges for 14-seater matatus which had been increased from Sh3,650 to Sh5,000, 32-seater (from Sh5,250 to Sh8,000), and 51-seater vehicles (buses) from 7,500 to Sh10,000.

“Justice Mrima has also ordered that the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) be enjoined as an interested party,” said lawyer Henry Kurauka who is representing the petitioners.

NMS took over four key county functions of health, transport and public works, utilities and ancillary services, and county planning and development services in February 2020.

The two lobby groups filed the cases following a notice issued by City Hall on December 2, 2019, announcing the fees’ increment, on the strength of the Finance Act, 2019.

Through Mr Kurauka, the groups argue that the increment of fees was unfair, unreasonable, exorbitant and lacked public participation in accordance with Article 10 of the Constitution.

In their petitions, they state that if the proposed changes were implemented, the rights of consumers would be greatly violated.

Mr Kurauka argued that the decision requiring PSVs to pay more to access the city centre would result in raised fares, which would hurt commuters’ travel plans and expenditure.