Motorists in Kenya are about to have it more rough with parking attendants starting this holiday season, as the city council of Nairobi makes new plans in efforts to increase revenue from parking payments by ensuring motorists do not skip a payment.
Through an electronic system launched in partnership with Jambo Pay, motorists parking their cars in Nairobi’s CBD and even in some of its outskirts are able to pay for their parking fees through mobile, a move that has eliminated the use of paper receipts and cash payments.
Receiving a set of failures and set backs for some time because parking agents were not familiar with the functioning of the system, a training was conducted and continues to be conducted in order to achieve maximum efficiency from using the electronic service and in return grow revenue.
Now City Hall has upgraded the electronic system to include electronic clamping (e-clamping). Yes, parking attendants will be able to clamp a motorist’s car without being physically present to do it with the unattractive, heavy, yellow metal.
E-clamping device has been designed to track and load fines for motorists who do not pay their parking fees, rendering the car clamped and fines keep accumulating until they are finally paid.
Motorists paying for parking space across Nairobi and its environs are required to pay through mobile money by first creating a parking wallet, through which attendants are able to confirm whether a parking payment has been made or not.
What This Will Mean For Kenyans
In the case a motorist tries to evade paying for parking space across Nairobi because they cannot see an attendant, their cars will either be physically clamped in the traditional annoying way or be electronically clamped through the new system.
These two systems will be working together, so just because city hall is going cashless and electronic to get more money from Kenyans does not mean they are abandoning the yellow metal clamps. About 2000 new clamps have been purchased to help back the system and boost fee collection from motorists.
Taking a focus at the new e-clamping system, this is an improved and advanced way of taking advantage of unsuspecting Kenyans. So, the parking attend will have a time frame of 45 minutes to confirm if payment has been made for a specific car and after the said time has elapsed, the car will be electronically clamped.
After it is clamped, a fine will be loaded to the motorist’s account or parking wallet. The penalty fine will accumulate for every day it is not paid at a rate of KSh 4,000 per day until the parking cops catch up with the motorist.
This is going to become one of the most expensive services in the county and most people will opt to live their cars at home instead. We all know how it can be hard to spot parking attendants in Kenya’s capital, they may be donned in yellow dust coats with a “Say No To Corruption” writing on the back, but they tend to disappear just when one is parking their cars.
I have waited with a friend for more than five minutes for a parking attendant to show up, five minutes is a lot of time for a busy Kenyan with errands to run or a meeting to attend, or an office to be at, or even a salon appointment. This is especially when one has had to stay in traffic for hours due to the poor traffic system.
A Kenyan with a hurry would decide to run up to do their errand, and then maybe come back after 30 minutes to pay for their parking space. Kenyans are a forgetful lot, at least most are as there is so much to do and think about, so 30 minutes elapse, then more and the car is clamped.
Now, if it was the traditional clamping, a motorist would remember they didn’t pay for parking as the yellow clamp is very visible and annoying, but now that clamping will be on the ‘cloud’, a motorist will easily get to their cars and move along not knowing they have been fined at the moment.
This is just one very possible scenario that is set to give the county government of Nairobi a boost in fee collection from fining unsuspecting Kenyans, and the list of scenarios is endless. So as City Hall pockets millions in fines from motorists, Kenyans will have a new government service to pay hefty for and a new system to easily donate their hard earned money to.
Since the electronic system was introduced, the County has received up to KSh 860 Million in collection from motorists, with only 300 working clamps. With the 2,000 addition, there will be 2,300 working clamps and lots of e-clamps as well as many more Kenyans to exploit as more cars are purchased and the forgetful lot increases.