Taxi operators in Kisumu have locked horns with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) over a new directive asking them to pay concession charges at revised rates backdated to July last year.
Kisumu Airport Taxi Operations Association (KATOA) chairman Benedicto Odipo told the Business Daily that KAA has instructed them to clear the outstanding bill as a condition to continue operating at its facility.
The operators, who have been paying Sh1,500 were from July last year slapped with a tenfold increase in concession charges to Sh15,000 meaning each owes KAA at least Sh110,000 in backdated bills.
“KAA has sent us a letter demanding that we must start paying the new concision charges back dated from July 2019. This is unacceptable,” said Mr Odipo.
KAA last June said the taxi operators must switch to the new rates and pay an additional Sh92, 325 as deposit for security every quarter without justifying the increment in price.
But the taxi operators have vowed not to pay the new rates saying that KAA ought to give them more time to adjust to the “ridiculous rates”.
“We request for the extension of the implementation period as both parties engage cordially to find an amicable solution,” said Mr Odipo in a letter sent to the airports authority on June 25, 2019.
The letter is addressed to the then KAA managing director and chief executive Johnny Andersen and copied to Kisumu International Airport manager Susan Gor and Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
In the letter, Mr Odipo argues that the operators find it too costly to pay the new charges alongside statutory charges such as the Value Added Tax (VAT) at the applicable rates.
The taxi operators further argue that the duration that was given was too short, less than the recommended 12 working days.
KATOA also argued that implementation should be stopped as stakeholders were not engaged before the new charges were imposed.