Should patients, shoppers pay parking fees? MPs want answers

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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Senators have raised the red flag over parking fees charged by institutions that offer public services and are demanding the intervention of the national government to stop the exploitation.

The legislators questioned whether the fees have legal basis as they faulted public institutions such as hospitals, schools, malls and churches for exploiting people seeking services from them.

The issue was raised by Wajir Senator Ali Abdullahi who is seeking a statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on the matter.

“This is controversial but Kenyans are suffering. When you go for services in hospitals, schools and malls, the charges are very high. Kenyans have to be helped and it is our duty and responsibility to undertake this,” Mr Abdullahi said on Thursday

Mr Abdullahi wants the state to show the policy framework that guides parking fees in public and private institutions, especially those offering public and crucial services to Kenyans.

He wants the ministry to explain measures that the government will take to ensure that patients, parents and the general public are not exploited by owners of premises through high parking fees when they visit such premises for services.

Senators Moses Wetangula, Eric Omogeni, Fatuma Dullo, Mutula KiLonzo, Enock Wambua and Irungu Kangata supported the statement, saying time has come for the House to defend motorists from exploitative mall owners

“We travel all over the world and airports offer services. They are not an impediment to travellers. When you go to Heathrow you do not see anybody paying when they are entering or leaving the airport. However, you have to pay at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and other local airports,” Mr Wetangula complained.

Describing the charges as a rip off, Mr Omogeni noted it is only in Kenya where people drive into supermarkets and they are forced to pay while Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot complained that the cancer has spread to public parks like Uhuru Gardens on Lang’ata Road which can be accessed only when motorists pay Sh300 even at 5.30 pm.

“You cannot drive into a mall for shopping where you are bringing business and you are forced to pay parking fees. Someone has gone to hospital for treatment is forced to go to their car and look for a parking bay. This is a rip-off.”

By Kenyan Digest

The Kenyan Digest Team