Parking Boys Frustrate NMS Officers in CBD Chase

  • Vehicles in the Nairobi CBD.
    Vehicles in the Nairobi CBD.
    Twitter
  • Parking boys in Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) on Thursday, November 26, frustrated enforcement officer from the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in an unending chase.

    The Major-General Mohammed Badi-led administration had in October led a crackdown operation on the notorious men who extort motorists looking for parking space.

    Weeks later, they were back in operation in full swing and on Thursday morning a second sweep ended up in a cat and mouse game between the parking boys and the enforcement officers.

    The officers were deployed on several streets and managed to drive them off only for the parking boys to return as the officers turned their backs on them.

    Nairobi City County No Parking Signage Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Nairobi City County No Parking Signage Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    “We will continue operating here as usual. We will be going around with them until they get tired. We would only fear if they were armed,” one of the boys stated during the numerous chases.

    The parking boys operate on various streets including Banda Street, Kimathi Street,  Muindi Mbingu, around Jeevanjee Gardens; Kenyatta Avenue, around Nation Centre, Kenya Cinema and along Moi Avenue.

    They lay in weight for motorists looking for parking space and charge between Ksh100 and Ksh200.

    In a previous interview, NMS Director of Enforcement Mark Leruk, stated that they were determined to clear all the parking boys from the city.

    “That is a security issue that needs talking face-to-face. However, the crackdown will continue until we are done with the parking boys,” Leruk stated in October  2020.

    A recent report by the Nairobi County Assembly's Budget and Appropriations Committee detailed how "cartels" in the parking department siphoned money from the City Hall.

    "Whereas Nairobi County had the potential to collect higher revenue from parking fees, corruption, and a lack of innovativeness had led to dismissible collections, petty cartels had taken over parking spaces and were in collusions with senior county officers diverting most of the realisable fees and that a significant number of parking spaces had been taken over by rogue matatu operators," the reports read in part.

    The report further revealed that the annual on-street parking revenue has been reducing every financial year.

    NMS and City Hall have been at odds on who motorists should pay parking to with many complaining about being forced to pay parking fees to two different entities.

    In November 2020, NMS communications department instructed drivers who were being harassed by county askaris to report through official communication and social media platforms, clarifying that only NMS was authorized to collect revenue after the transfer of the transport function.  

    Nairobi City County Parking Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Nairobi City County Parking Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke