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How Nairobi Is Losing Millions To Parking And Loading Zone Cartels

Some crafty city county officers in charge of collecting parking fees are on the spot over claims that they are pocketing millions of shillings.

It emerged that for a while now, the racket has contributed to the dwindling revenue in the county’s coffers, which has been attributed to laxity and greed.

In a move to tame such ‘black holes’, the Nairobi County Assembly has approved a motion to manage the parking slots marked as ‘loading areas’.

The allocation and management of loading zones was tabled by Deputy Speaker Paul Kiguathi Kados, who is also Mihango Member of the County Assembly (MCA).

Kados said once loading zones are controlled, the collections could boost the county’s revenue.

In the documents tabled to support the debate, it emerged that the county Treasury doesn’t have information on the number, location, and designated users or beneficiaries of all the loading zones in Nairobi.

“The responsible County Government officers fail to enforce measures aimed at collecting revenue at loading zones due to compromise, corruption, negligence, and weak legal frameworks on those sites,” Kiguathi told the assembly.

Nairobi Central Ward (CBD) MCA John Kwenya said the move to control and tame dishonest individuals manning the zones at the city centre will restore sanity and boost confidence among the traders.

Kwenya, in support of the motion, explained that there are few available parking slots because many of them have been converted into loading zones by cartels. “It will bring a lot of discipline because some businesses like banks have around four slots, but they only pay for one. Yet there are genuine motorists who drive to the city centre but lack places to park,” the MCA explained.

“The loading zones have also encouraged the parking boys who collect money from motorists, thus denying the county much-needed revenue. We are also planning to introduce automated parking that will allow the motorists to pay per hour at the city to discourage cartels,”

Among the perceived lucrative areas of interest include parking zones at CBD, Industrial Area, Parklands, loading zones on River Road and car bazaars mostly along Ngong Road.

Assembly chairman for transport Musango Maithya is optimistic that Governor Sakaja will approve the motion, noting that it will help him boost the revenue for the county.

 “The parking boys have taken over not only the loading zones but also the parking slots even around the Assembly but I believe that they are doing that on behalf of someone who is very powerful,” Musango who is Pipeline Ward MCA explained.

The Assembly was told that from 2016, revenue has been nosediving from Sh2.03 billion to Sh1.8 billion in the last financial year (2012/2022).

Kados told said there is a medium-term projection that the collections for the year 2023/2024 are likely to clock Sh3 billion. The Assembly challenged Sakaja to identify, automate and mark all loading zones and submit a report within 60 days of the adoption of the motion.

Source: The Standard