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Fresh details of Governor Sonko's shock for Nairobi residents

UREPORT
By Moses Michira | October 25th 2018

Life may just get more difficult for Nairobi residents if proposals by Governor Mike Sonko’s administration in a revised Finance Bill are passed.

If the Nairobi County Assembly passes the proposals contained in the 2018/2019 Finance Bill, holding prayers in the city’s open spaces such as Jevanjee Gardens for an hour will cost Sh1,000, twice the fee payable under former Governor Evans Kidero.

Motorists will pay Sh400 for street parking daily up from the current Sh300, while entrepreneurs hoping to rent public toilets must part with Sh20,000 a year up from Sh8,000.

It may shock many that Sonko, who campaigned on the platform of fighting for the poor, would institute such drastic fee hikes for basic services.

The governor’s acts of magnanimity, including supplying water to informal settlements in the run-up to last year’s General Election, only helped cement his image as the saviour that Nairobi needed.

But a year after assuming office, Sonko’s promise of slashing daily parking fees by half has been overtaken by City Hall’s need to raise additional revenues.

County Finance and Budget Committee chair Robert Mbatia said the new rates were essential if service delivery was to be improved.

Only land owners and tuk-tuk operators were spared in the fee reviews that will invariably raise the cost of living.

The monthly operating permit for the three-wheeler vehicles has been slashed by Sh500 to Sh1,500, effective January 1, next year.

On land rates, Sonko has proposed to slash the annual fees by one-third to 10 per cent, in a move that will benefit landlords.

Reduction of the land rates was a priority that he pledged to effect within the first 100 days in office.


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