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Blame game over dwindling Nairobi County parking revenue

By Josphat Thiongo | January 22nd 2020
Vehicles parked on Nairobi CBD (PHOTO: FILE)

The Nairobi County Transport Committee is now calling for the re-alignment of the Transport and parking departments amid the dwindling parking revenue collections.

This is even as the committee registered its discontent with parking services director Tom Tinega over the irregular allocation of bus stages, loading zones, and route extensions.

City Hall has been recording dwindling revenue collections since its divorce from JamboPay in June last year.

In the three months that followed, City Hall posted a deficit of Sh336 million. In total, the county collected Sh1.539 billion in the three months from over 130 revenue streams, compared to Sh1.875 billion collected in a similar period last year.

Parking revenue is a major contributor to the City’s revenue.

During a transport committee sitting held on Tuesday, MCAs revealed that the decline in revenue collection was attributed to the wrangles and non-coordination in the transport department, which is a key contributor to Nairobi’s revenue.

Umoja One MCA Mark Mugambi accused Tinega of insubordination saying he had been allocating stages, route extensions and loading zones, which was a duty, reserved for the Transport CEC Hitan Majevdia.

Mugambi claimed that marshals attached to Tinega’s office were involved in the embezzlement of revenue and that the committee had received complains of the marshals harassing motorists for non-payment of their parking fees.

“Tinega should cease purporting to perform functions of the transport and infrastructure docket such as the issuance of picking and dropping, route extensions and loading zones. This committee should rule that all those letters issued by Tinega to the matatu owners canceled.

South C MCA Ousman Khalif stated that there was confusion since both Mr Majevdia and Tinega were issuing letters purporting to allocate stages to matatu saccos.

“There is a lot of confusion going on as to who exactly is mandated to issue these letters and that is how revenue to the county is lost once it is paid to the wrong person,” said the MCA.

Utalii MCA Wilson Ochola called for the immediate suspension of Tinega, saying he was acting contrary to the law by overstepping in his mandate.

“This committee wants the transport CEC to get someone else to operate that office because Tom Tinega is not following orders of his boss. He has also been snubbing committee invites and we will now summon him,” said Ochola.

Committee chair Joyce Muthoni called on the executive to ensure that both departments understood and were operating within their mandate.

“If we are to boost revenue collection in the County then both departments need to work harmoniously but each should stick to their mandate and operate within the confines of the law,” said Muthoni.

Sought for comment on parking services Director Tom Tinega denied overstepping his mandate saying he was simply supporting the work of the transport department.

“Some mandates are shared and when I am acting I am trying to advise the Matatu owners. The terminus have already been gazetted so it’s not like we are allocating any new ones. The letters I write are meant to remind them that they are supposed to operate within the gazetted terminus,’ said Tinega.

“That does not mean I am overstepping the mandate stipulated in the law. I have not received any invite from the committee as claimed by the members.”

The committee has summoned Mr. Tinega as well as officials from the National Transport and Safety Authority for a meeting next week Tuesday.

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