Nairobi Motorists Pay Extra Fees as Sonko, Badi Fight for Power

  • Vehicles in traffic along Uhuru Highway in Nairobi, Kenya.
    Vehicles in traffic along Uhuru Highway in Nairobi, Kenya.
    Simon Kiragu
  • The fight between the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the Nairobi County Government has taken a toll on motorists who are reportedly forced to pay double parking fees. 

    In August 2020, NMS unveiled a new mobile payment platform for Nairobi residents which was to replace one availed by Governor Mike Sonko in June 2019.

    The new unified payment short code (USSD) *647# is run by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tasked with revenue collection after Sonko handed over key duties to the National Government.

    Sonko's regime used to collect fees with *235# with the money being saved at the National Bank of Kenya. 

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) speaks with NMS General Mohamed Badi (centre) and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (left) at an event in Nairobi in August 2020
    Twitter

    Motorists lamented that they end up paying the Ksh 200 fee twice on both platforms as Sonko's *235* has remained active. 

    County council officers reportedly clamp vehicles for motorists who do not pay to both platforms. Askaris sent by County Government detain vehicles of those whose fees do not reflect on the platform despite having paid to the NMS platform.

    The same happens to those who submit fees to Sonko's platform whenever they bump into county askari's working under NMS. 

    Motorists can pay up to Ksh 600 as they are further charged a Ksh 200 penalty from both sides. 

    However, other motorists stated that they had not met such a challenge. 

    "I use the new *647# axis as I cannot access the old *235# platform managed by Sonko's government. The old platform buffers and nothing appears," a motorist stated while speaking to Kenyans.co.ke. 

    Under the new pay code unveiled by NMS, Nairobi residents are able to access and also pay for parking, business permit, land rates, property management and market bill management.

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    County council askaris clamp a car in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD)
    File

    On Wednesday, October 28, Badi declared a waiver issued by Sonko as illegal. Sonko extended a waiver on the rent payable to the Nairobi City County for another six months to cushion the city residents from the negative economic impact.

    Nairobi residents had complained over persistent harassment by officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over arrears.

    "The rent waiver for county houses is not legitimate because that is a transferred function, so he (Governor Sonko) has no authority to waive. KRA collects revenue and its the duty of the authority to make that announcement," Badi stated during an interview with Citizen TV's Jeff Koinange.  

    Badi added that he was not interested in fighting with Sonko but rather focus on service delivery to Nairobi residents and honour President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as the country.