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Lawyer challenges directive on digital plates for vehicles

Digital number plates were launched by Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i (right) on August 30, 2022. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

A Nakuru lawyer has challenged the government's directive that all motorists should switch to digital number plates within the next 18 months.

Lawyer Peter Okiro wants High Court judge Hillary Chemitei to quash the August 30, 2022 directive by Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i.

Through his lawyer Antoinette Ogange, Okiro wants the judge to bar the government from implementing the directive.

Mr Okiro claims that the government’s action is irrational and unfair to motorists. He claims that the move has no backing in law as it ignored the rights of motorists.

“No proper public participation was done which is unconstitutional,” reads the petition. 

According to Okiro, all vehicles driven on Kenyan roads are registered and have registration plates from the government. 

Okiro has sued CS Matiang’i, the Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia and the Attorney General.

He has named the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) as interested parties.

The petition follows the launch of digital number plates which have enhanced security features on August 30 to, according to Matiang'i, ease the process of tracing car ownership.

Matiang’i said the new plates would be issued to newly registered vehicles in the KDK series, and fixed at their point of entry into the country.

The replacement for old cars will begin on October 1, 2022.

Each motorist will be required to pay Sh3,000 to change the plates or in default face a Sh20,000 fine or a jail term of at least six months as per the traffic rules.