Kenya: Parking Headache for City Motorists As Pay Hitches Persist

Motorists may have to allocate more time for parking or risk getting to work late or even missing important meetings as the new Nairobi revenue collection system is yet to start running smoothly.

Since its launch on Monday, motorists have complained of the persistence glitches with some having to sit in their cars for as long as two hours before the payment can go through.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko defended the new system saying that hurdles are expected whenever changes are introduced but also assured city residents that City Hall would ensure it runs smoothly.

"Even when JamboPay was starting they experienced hiccups with the system during the first two weeks, we have to start somewhere but the ICT team is working tirelessly to ensure the process is seamless," said Mr Sonko.

He also wondered why only his office was being harshly criticised while the network carrier could also be malfunctioning.

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"What is wrong if a common mwananchi doesn't pay parking for a day or two? Let them enjoy, it is the county which is going to lose," he said.

A frustrated driver said he had spent more than an hour waiting for the payment process to complete, while yet another said he had to be assured his car would not be clamped before he could proceed to undertakings.

"The county attendant just told me to leave the car behind and go on with my business because the problem was on their side," he said.

The governor has taken a hit with motorists and County Assembly members faulting him for rushing to introduce a new system that had not been tested.

"Although we will eventually overcome the challenges, the system should have been introduced gradually, first by testing several revenue streams that are not very busy to know the challenges that might be encountered," Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Mr Robert Mbatia said.

The new system was set up after the county to cut ties with JamboPay, the revenue payment platform operated by Webtribe Limited last week.

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