Agency calls for set up of laws to govern county operations

It is illegal for Nairobi County officers to tow and impound your motorcycle or vehicle, the Commission on Administrative Justice has said.

Acting chairperson Regina Mwatha said there is no law governing the impounding of vehicles and that the City Inspectorate Department has been operating using the defunct City Council by-laws that are yet to be replaced.

Following an investigation by the commission, it was found that the Inspectorate Department has been towing and confiscating motorcycles and vehicles and charging impounding fees ranging from Sh1,000 for motorcycles and Sh10,000 for trucks.

An additional Sh2,500 is charged for any extra day that the vehicle remains in their custody.

The investigation was carried out after Noah Simiyu’s motorcycle was impounded in December 2015 and efforts to get it back were futile.

Through the agency’s involvement, Mr Simiyu got his property on February 21 this year, after more than a year in the yard.

In the same month, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero issued a mandatory unconditional release of all impounded vehicles to their owners, which saw more than 100 motorcycles released.

Dr Mwatha said the findings also uncover the level of corruption among staff members, poor service delivery, poor management of records on impounded vehicles, lack of equipment to carry out its mandate and no existing information-sharing systems with the police and National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) for detecting stolen vehicles.

The commission made recommendations that include the reformation and restructuring of the City Inspectorate Department, stopping the impounding of vehicles until a law is made governing the process; as well as the training and vetting of Inspectorate staff.

The commission has published the Nairobi City County Inspectorate Services Bill 2017 in order to seal the loopholes found in the legal operations of the City Inspectorate Department and has invited the views from the public.

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