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Technical hitch allows Nairobi motorists ‘free’ parking

A day after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which collects parking fees on behalf of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) asked parking attendants to collect pictorial evidence of vehicles whose drivers fail to pay parking fees, the payment system has suffered a technical hitch.

On Wednesday, motorists in the capital experienced hitches when using the Nairobi revenue collection platform, *647#, which was rolled out last year by NMS.

Many motorists who attempted to pay for their parking within the Central Business District were unable to process payments and instead got error messages.

An attendant along Kimathi Street told this writer to keep trying but was not sure what time it will be rectified.

“There seems to a technical hitch which we have no idea what time it will be resolved. There is nothing much we can do as we cannot clamp or penalize anyone as it is not their problem but NMS and KRA,” he said.

In March, KRA was appointed as the principal agent for the collection of all county revenue replacing National Bank who briefly handled the role.

Since the introduction of the new code, motorists have been complaining of how they’ve been getting text messages to pay for parking even when their cars had not been driven into the CBD.

In a statement on Tuesday, the taxman admitted that a number of motorists had disputed penalties, prompting them to start relying on photographic evidence to handle such cases.

“The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi City County government have received numerous complaints from motorists disputing penalties imposed for failure to pay parking fees.

“In order to address these complaints, parking attendants in county uniform will henceforth photograph number plates of non-compliant motor vehicles for reference purposes in case of disputes,” KRA said in a public notice.

And in another move, the KRA said physical VIP parking stickers issued last year are null and void. Some rogue officials had profiteered through the issuance of fake VIP parking stickers.

“The 2021 annual VIP authorised vehicles are now being managed through the Nairobi Revenue System parking. Physical VIP parking stickers will no longer be recognised. KRA parking attendants will henceforth use querying devices to confirm the compliance status of such vehicles” the taxman added.

The KRA last year took over the mandate of collecting all levies and taxes paid to City Hall for two years up to March 16, 2022.