alexa Nairobi motorists frustrated by delays in new payments system - Daily Nation

Nairobi motorists frustrated by delays in new payments system

Friday June 14 2019

Nairobi cars

Vehicles are parked at Sunken in Nairobi on June 10, 2019. Motorists are grappling with the challenges of a new parking fees payment system following the end of JamboPay's contract with the county. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JAMES KAHONGEH
By JAMES KAHONGEH
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Nairobi motorists on Friday had to choose between paying parking fees to attendants, which is illegal, and having their vehicles clamped.

This was because the new e-payments system introduced by the Mike Sonko administration failed to facilitate payments for the fifth day running.

Earlier this week, Nairobi introduced the Internal Revenue Management System (IRMS) that requires drivers to make payments using USSD code *235#.

Unlike the previous system, the money is pulled directly from M-Pesa and motorists have to pay a Sh23 fee for every transaction.

HITCH

But the new system hardly works.

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Motorists who attempted to use it complained of outages and long delays while some said they waited up to two houses for confirmation of payment.

The system failed on Wednesday when Mr Sonko attempted a demo transaction on camera.

“We have to start somewhere ... the ICT team is working tirelessly to ensure the process is seamless,” he said.

“What is wrong with common mwananchi not paying for parking for a day or two? Let them enjoy [this] ... it is the county which will lose."

COMPLAINTS

A spot check by the Nation on Friday found that some motorists opted to stand by their cars to prevent them from getting clamped.

They accused the county of not clearly communicating on the matter.

One motorist said, "Why bother wasting time trying to pay for parking? If their system isn’t working, how is that your problem?"

Mr Frank Mwilu, another city resident, said: "It's high time time Nairobi City County stopped relying on parking fees as the main source of revenue and made other investments."

Earlier this week, Mr Sonko dismissed residents who blamed him for the hitches, arguing the problem could be the network carrier.

He also noted that there were inconveniences when the previous payments system was introduced in 2014.

FREE PARKING

The governor cautioned Nairobians against paying parking fees to attendants.

"You would rather enjoy free parking than make the payments to people who are going to embezzle [the money]," he said.

Mr Sonko noted Nairobi loses an average of Sh600 million every day but said it was "insignificant" compared to "the billions being embezzled elsewhere".

"Let the people of Nairobi enjoy free parking. Nairobi has nothing to lose."

The new system was set up after Web Tribe Limited, which operates JamboPay, ended its contract after five years.

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