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Motorists protest as Eldoret parking fees increases

A street in Eldoret
A street in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Motorists and car owners in Uasin Gishu are up in arms after the county government raised parking fees.

The motorists said the move has come at the wrong time as they are already feeling the pinch of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the motorists who spoke to Business Daily Tuesday said the new fees will badly hurt them.

In April, the county reduced the fees from Sh2,000 to Sh1,000 montly when Kenya recorded the first Corona cases. But early this month, the parking fees were increased.

John Too, a cab driver based in Eldoret town, said they are facing tough times due to slow business due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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“We do not get a lot of customers compared to before Corona was reported,” he said.

The drivers said the social distance rule means they carry less travellers.

“We adhere to government guidelines on the limited number of passengers and most of us will not be able to afford it (parking fee),” said Hoskei Tanui, driver with one of the matatu saccos.

Last week, the county said they are working towards attaining the projected Sh2 billion in revenue in the 2020/2021 financial year. Governor Jackson Mandago’s administration has deployed revenue officers to various points to enhance revenue collection to meet the target.

Small and medium size enterprises in the region have in the past been feeling the heat of the prohibitive tariffs imposed by various counties in the region, slowing growth of their businesses.

“Traders especially in transport and logistics or agriculture in terms of transporting goods from one county to another are charged high fees. Harmonisation of these tariffs will help in boosting intra-trade in the counties,” said Willy Kenei, chairperson of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce Uasin-Gishu County chapter.

The bloc that brings together Uasin Gishu, Samburu, Baringo, Turkana, Nandi, West Pokot, Trans-Nzoia and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties, was launched in 2015 but has failed to transform the lives of more than 10 million residents.

Focus now shifts to the county assemblies under the North Rift Economic Bloc (Noreb) which bring together eight counties in the region as the Noreb Bill is expected to be tabled and ratified in all the member counties early next month.

According to Joseph Makilap, the Noreb’s regional director in charge of legislation and special programmes, the Bill once ratified will help spur growth and development in the region by easing movement of goods across county borders.

“We will be engaging the county speakers then county assembly leadership and all the members of county assemblies. It is expected the Bill will be tabled and debated in all assemblies once they resume next month and we expect by the end of next month theBill will then be passed by governors into law,” Mr Makilap said.

Delays in ratification of the Bill and a cooperation act, he said were occasioned by the need to involve the legal experts from Kenya Law Reform Commission in last six months.

“The region is endowed with untapped potential in terms of mining, agricultural and tourism. We want to revamp the bloc to spur growth to benefit over 10 million residents in the region,” said Mr Makilap.

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