Kenya: Parking Boys Play Cat-and-Mouse Games With NMS Officers

26 November 2020

A cat-and-mouse game has begun between Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) enforcement officers and parking boys.

This is after the Major-General Mohammed Badi-led administration deployed officers to man streets that are currently under the firm grip of the parking boys.

The development follows a failed attempt by the new office to crack the whip on the parking boys who have turned Kimathi and Banda Streets into their territories, extorting money from private motorists looking for parking spaces.

A spot check by the Nation has established that a number of the enforcement officers have been deployed across several streets in the Nairobi Central Business District to enforce the county's by-laws, which discourage signalling and directing of vehicles, among other offences.

The officers engaged the parking boys in the morning, driving them out of the streets. However, the exercise turned into a cat-and-mouse game with the parking boys returning as soon as the officers turned their backs on them.

"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 parking boys was heard saying.

Return to the city

The parking boys made a return to the city centre in their droves after an attempt by NMS to flush them out last month flopped.

They are known for directing private motorists on existing parking slots, picking money from the same motorists for "offering" them parking space and terrorising those who dare resist their advances by vandalising their vehicles.

The parking boys menace has been a growing concern in the capital city with the individuals blamed for growing insecurity as they are not only involved in extortion but also theft.

The notorious hotspots are the stretch of Banda Street from Kimathi Street to Muindi Mbingu; Muindi Mbingu Street, especially around Jeevanjee Gardens; Kenyatta Avenue, specifically the Stanbic Bank stretch; in front of and behind Nation Centre, Kenya Cinema and along Moi Avenue stretching from the former Karrymatt Supermarket to the former Nakumatt Supermarket, now Naivas Supermarket.

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