24th March 2018
Wellington and Masiaka Road Commuters Worried for Chinese Toll Hike!
By a press release (03/07/17)
Drivers plying the Wellington and Masiaka highway daily are disgusted for paying double fees thanks to the Chinese Toll price hike!!
Competent reports say the Chinese engineers constructing the Wellington/Masiaka road have beaten the gun by increasing the Toll prices even before the July month which was marked as deadline for the Toll price to increase. (Pictured: Chinese President XI Jinping).
Political pundits are blaming parliament for approving two clauses that are deemed ‘bad-for-local-business’ in the 161 million United States dollars Chinese contractual terms of agreement.
According to parliament approval, Clause 15 gives powers to the Chinese to start the Toll when they construct any 10 miles radius. The Toll is pegged at Hastings Police Training entrance.
Also, Clause 10.4 gives powers to the Chinese contractors to change Toll prices anytime the exchange rate changes by 10 percent. A loophole that the Chinese are taking advantage of to increase Toll prices as the Forex fluctuates daily in the country. The Toll prices presently charged are reported as follows:
Commercial vehicles now pay double thanks to the Chinese Toll: Taxis now pay extra Le 3,000; Small mini buses pay nearly Le 10,000; Large mini buses now cough almost Le 20,000; Pick up vans and Coaches pay around Le 40,000; Medium Trucks pay about Le 100,000; Twenty tons Trucks are charged around Le 800,000 and Trailers and Tractors pay net sum of one million Leones Toll charge.
Private vehicles also pay double what they used to pay. Cars now pay around Le 5000. And most significantly, the Toll prices above are for only one way. Meaning it is doubled for any vehicle that shuttled to and fro.
Because of doubling the Toll prices, both transport fares and fuel prices will increase to make ends meet for commercial drivers. Meaning innocent passengers will foot the bill through the price increments. For instance, private Jeep owners who live in Waterloo and nearby areas and who work in Freetown, their monthly payments will be around Le 500,000.
The Toll is expected to start this July month but reports say the Toll charge started in June instead. It is definitely a worrisome situation for many commuters with private and commercial vehicles.