Transport paralysed as truck drivers block Kangundo Road

Wednesday March 18 2020
DEMO

Truck drivers demonstrate on Kangundo Road on March 4, 2018 after Machakos County government increased cess fees. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

Transport has been paralysed along Kangundo Road after truck drivers barricaded the highway to protest Machakos County government's decision to increase haulage fees.

The drivers parked their trucks across the road, making it difficult for other motorists to use the highway. Many passengers had to walk to their destinations.

They were joined by quarry workers from Katani, the main source of ballast in the region. Governor Alfred Mutua had increased cess from Sh850 to Sh3,000 per trip.

CESS FEES

Truck Ventures Group Secretary Godfrey Mutua said that Governor Mutua had fixed the new rates without consulting them.

"We were told on Tuesday last week that the new rates would take effect from today (Monday). This was done without consultations,” said Mr Mutua. He termed the decision to increase the fees as harsh and meant to drive them out of business.

He said that they still have to pay Sh2000 upon stepping into Nairobi County and another Sh600 when they ferry ballast to Kiambu County.

THREE LORRIES

"I have three lorries which make three trips each day. This means that I will be paying Sh27, 000 every day to Machakos yet I only make Sh5, 500 per trip,” said Mr Mutua.

"I still have to pay my drivers, loaders and service the vehicles," he added.

Another truck owner Mr Alfred Gikandi said the protests would go on until Governor Mutua reviews the rates.

"Why are they charging us such high fees yet no services are being rendered in return? The bad roads make us incur even more costs, " he said.