Last October, the Kenya Railways kicked out the operator and installed its own car parking management system at Mombasa terminus, Voi and Mtito Andei stations.

Kenya Railways cancelled Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) parking services tender after an operator failed to install automated equipment and pocketed fees it collected manually.

The corporation canceled the three-year tender awarded to Mason Services Limited and Qntra Technology Limited in February last year for non-performance.

Kenya Railways Acting General Manager Business and Operations Milly Omido told High Court the firms collected fees for three months but failed to remit to the corporation.

The company was also collecting parking fees manually instead of setting up an automated system as agreed with the railways operator.

“Mason Services Limited and Qntra Technology Limited failed to remit the revenue collections to the Kenya Railways in the months of July, August and September 2020. This was despite the agreement that the revenue would be remitted by 5th of every month in arrears,” Ms Omido said.

“That having failed to install the parking management system in Mombasa, Mason Services Limited and Qntra Technology Limited was collecting the revenue manually failing to deliver the objective of a service provider to manage the Parking system,” she said.

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Kenya Railways needs to enhance revenues to meet overwhelming cost of running the line which costs and average of Sh1 billion per month on the operations of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway alone.

In the three years to May 2020 the SGR posted a combined operating loss of Sh21.68 billion, having netted Sh25.03 billion in revenue over the period against operational costs totaling Sh46.71 billion — a gap that taxpayers have to plug.

The parking services firm had gone to court to stop the termination of their contract arguing that they risked losing millions in investments and three year revenues.

The firm claimed that it has installed equipment worth Sh4.1 million and has made orders from abroad worth Sh5.4 million awaiting delivery.

The firm said it won the tender in February but when it started installations in April it was hit by Covid-19 pandemic as passenger services were suspended between March to July.

They claimed that when travel at half capacity resumed in July, they installed parking equipment at Nairobi and Mombasa and employed 14 personnel who started collecting parking charges.

“That due to the said COVID-19 Pandemic, we were unable to secure all the equipment from abroad as movement around the world was halted,” the firm’s director, Mr Stephen Njoroge, said.

In October, Kenya Railways kicked out the operator and installed its own car parking management system at Mombasa terminus, Voi and Mtito Andei stations as required under the contract.

The firm initiated the process of arbitration by asking the Chairman, Chartered Institute of Arbitration, Kenya Branch to appoint an arbitrator and also went to court to obtain an injunction which has now been thrown out.

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The firms, Mason Services Limited and Qntra Technology Limited came to light during the disputed Sh250 million Jomo Kenyatta International Airport parking saga.

They were among the six bidders including Automatic Park Services Ltd, Atlancis Technologies, Paytech Ltd, Com Twenty One joint venture with Servest Facilities Services Ltd, and Endeavour Africa Kenya Ltd joint venture with East African Parking Ltd who lost the tender to Kenya Airports Parking Services (KAPS).

They appealed JKIA award the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) and court of appeal.

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