There are interesting Nairobi City County by-laws but nothing beats the one that says: “It is an offence to signal or direct a vehicle to a parking space”.
This is flouted every single second in the Central Business District (CBD) by ‘parking boys’.
You have probably seen them directing a car into or out of a parking space or at times running before motorists to lead them into an empty spot. They are mostly youths, with a few over the age of 40 years.
Many motorists in Nairobi have suffered at the hands of “the boys”.
They are not county parking attendants, and neither are they volunteers. They are Nairobi’s notorious ‘parking boys’, who have become a thorn in the flesh of motorists within the CBD.
From extorting motorists to vandalism of vehicles, theft of parts and insecurity, the group is running amok on major streets of Nairobi.
Most streets and avenues in the city centre have now become their territory; some kind of a small economic caliphate where they are their own government with designated leaders to boot. So lucrative is the parking business that some of these parking boys make an average Sh36,000, tax-free every month.
On some occasions, they demand up to Sh100 before they can “open” parking slots and “ensure the safety” of the car. That is over and above the Sh200 parking fee motorists pay to City Hall as official parking fees.
The notorious hot spots are the stretch of Banda Street from Kimathi Street to Muindi Mbingu; Muindi Mbingu Street, especially around Jeevanjee Gardens; Kenyatta Avenue, specifically around Stanbic Bank; in front of and behind Nation Centre, Kenya Cinema and along Moi Avenue stretching from the former Karrymatt Supermarket to the former Nakumatt Supermarket, now Naivas Supermarket.