Over the weekend I decided to floss around the city in a borrowed car. I cruised all over Nairobi with my elbow hanging on the door. Fortunately, the car had amazing speakers which allowed me to announce my presence in every corner. After a long aimless driving, I parked near Nation Center.
Now, there’s a certain amount of money that someone is supposed to pay before or after parking. So I waited for these guys to appear because I didn’t want my friend’s car to be clamped. A man appeared,” we! Nipe fifty before uende zako, ama utapata gari kwa city hall next week.” The guy said. I knew kanjos are supposed to have a uniform and probably a book and a pen, but this guy looked more like a street boy with tattered clothes and an authoritative temerity to frighten road users.
So, how do you use your phone to pay a parking fee when strangers are always on the lookout to dry your pockets? Apparently, kanjos have assistants or cartels that loot cash from city dwellers. These guys reduce the hassle. Kanjos normally walk around town looking for defaulters and confirming law abiding citizens, but this work is hectic given that you have to bask under the sun the whole day and the end of the month you are paid peanuts – that’s according to a city askari.
In any development project in the country, there’s always a second person killing the initiative. Is it because we are resistant to change? The country has an opportunistic culture where everybody must harvest where they have not soared and the introduction of technological solutions is not supported by every stakeholder employed by the government.
I believe the electronic payment platform; Ejiji Pay is a good initiative but Kenya is not ready for such a development. The City County Government is planning to enhance the system’s applicability after announcing that it will stop accepting cash payments in the next financial year. This includes; land rates, parking fee, rentals and construction approvals. In addition, 31st March is the deadline for land rates and business permits manual renewals.
“The high and rapid uptake of e-payments show Nairobians are happy with the convenience and ease with which they transact with the county government through Ejiji Pay.” Said Ms Lokidor.
Reasons why Ejiji Pay might not work
Some people find it easy to transact using online platforms but it’s inconvenient for someone who uses a feature phone or never took a computer class after school. “Iyo bado sijaskia…lakini naskia Huduma center inasaidia sana. Ejiji Pay bado watu hawajui.” A lady at Ndonyo commented after I asked a random question in a village salon. “ I think the government should come up with awareness programs where people will be educated on these things…kama IEBC na mambo zao za kura.”
To improve reliability in the county, Kidero and his officials should start by reducing traffic and congestion in the city center. They should probably concentrate on the railway projects that seem to bear fruit in Syokimau.
Rumor had it that, the popular bus station was to be moved to Ngara and no matatu was to be allowed in the city center. What happened to that move? The county has many failed projects including removal of roundabout and other archived deals.
Sometimes back, Dr Kidero abolished the free maternity services after the national government failed to reimburse the county 165 million. Acting as a shadow fail, the government should stop giving Kenyans empty promises and start working on the failed projects.
Those are just a few examples of the projects that raised people’s eyebrows.