11 June 2019

Kenya: Sonko Increases Parking Fees As Hitches Persist in New System

Citi motorists are being charged more to transact in the newly introduced revenue collection system by Nairobi County government.

On top of the hitches being experienced, motorists now have to dig deeper to fork out an additional Sh25 when paying parking fees.

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Sh23 is deducted by M-Pesa for facilitating the transaction, while Sh2 is deducted as service charge, according to a parking attendant.

City Hall, during the launch of the new system, did not inform motorists of the additional Sh25 daily deduction for parking fees.

Under the previous service provider JamboPay, motorists were only charged a onetime fee for loading their e-wallet. One could load as much as they want onto the e-wallet and get billed just Sh200 for parking in the subsequent transactions.

In the new system, motorists have to make their payments using *235# USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data). The money is pulled directly from M-Pesa -there is no e-wallet- meaning the extra Sh25 is a daily fee.

ERRONEOUS HEADACHE

Technical hitches continued to hamper the new system on its second day on Tuesday, with users complaining of receiving erroneous and invalid messages or not receiving the confirmation message.

JamboPay's formal contract with City Hall ended on April 7, 2019 but had been extended twice to aid in a seamless transition as the county finalised the migration to a system run by the county government.

A spot-check by Nairobi News on Tuesday morning in the Central Business District (CBD) found motorists still complaining of delays, inadequacy of information and system-failure.

Majority of motor-vehicle owners are yet to be accustomed to the changes, while those in the know faced hitches in execution of transactions.

Nairobi County E-Government Chief Officer Peter Mukenya on Monday said the minor hitches are a normal because the system is still being "fine-tuned".

"Obviously this is a new system and challenges will be there but our software engineers are on site and are addressing any hitch reported. However, the system has worked almost to perfection and most people are impressed with it," said Mr Mukenya.

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