Anger over tollgate fees

HARARE - The hike in toll fees has been sledged as an extra burden on the pockets of motorists and commuters who are already facing difficulties in meeting their daily needs.

Government has gazetted the Toll Roads (Regional Trunk Road Network) (Amendment) Regulations, 2014, through statutory instrument (SI) 106/ 2014, whose  primary purpose is to increase the toll fees by up to 100 percent.

Under the new regime, users of light private vehicles will now pay $2 up from $1. Users of haulage trucks will now pay $10, up from $5. These toll fees are effective from July 11.

Amid the uproar, the Daily News reporter Lloyd Mbiba took to the streets to glean the views of motorists on the increase.

Zvikomborero Marima, 36, Bus Driver

“The tollgate fees increase was just too much. I ply the Mutoko route and Mutoko Road is one of the worst roads in Zimbabwe and I always ask, where is the money going to? So far, the government has rehabilitated the Mutare and Bulawayo highways only, and yet the money from tollgates is enough to do all the highways. This raises a lot of suspicion and we are not happy about the increase.

“What this means is that we will have to increase fares because it won’t be economically viable to continue with the current fares. People are suffering and they don’t have the money. How will they afford the new fares? This does not look good for our business.”

Carlos Mutimbanyoka, 32, Bus Driver

“We were shocked to learn that tollgate fees have been increased. We charge $7 for a trip to Mutare from Harare. But government gazetted $15 for the journey and we had to reduce to $7 because people could not afford the fare set by government.

“Now with the toll fees going up it means we will realise less money and this is not good for our business. I need to be paid my salary and the owner needs money. How does the government expect us to survive if it keeps increasing tollgate fees?

“In any case, where is the tollgate money going to because roads are not being rehabilitated?”

Jeremiah, Padya, 51, Driver

“When tollgates were introduced, we were made to understand the money generated from the plazas would be used to improve our roads, but we have not seen that up to today. We can’t be paying for service that we are not receiving.

“The roads are bad and we constantly have to change tyres and springs. So the increase is totally uncalled for. If anything, the fares should have been reduced.”

Earnest Maphosa, 55, Driver

“Government should have consulted us first before taking the decision because they are destroying our sector. 

“We can’t increase bus fares because business is so low and the increase will cut into our profits.

“At the end of the day, we will end up working for tollgate fees and the police who are all over the roads.

This is unfair because we also need money to survive. “

“Does government increase for the sake of increasing or what? 

“We are not seeing any improvement on our roads and we feel toll fees should be removed altogether.”

Ishamel Nyambura, 25, Driver

“The increase is not justified because the funds are not being used to improve our roads.

“One cannot go for just 60km without encountering potholes on the highway.

“Look at the Nyamapanda Bridge which was damaged last month.

“Nothing has been done on that bridge and it raises a lot of questions as to where the tollgate funds are going to.

“We think the increase is uncalled for and government should reconsider the move.”

Comments (6)

Ndokuti Zim-Asset

mubocha - 14 July 2014

@ Mubocha, you are 100% right. Ndo kuti zim asset ka. Zvimwe hurumende yave kuda kuwedzera mari dzakapromiswa ma civil servant of which kwekuwana mari yacho zvinenge zvanetsa saka pasara kuwanira vanhu pama tollgates. It's not fair.

maitazvaita - 14 July 2014

ndokuti BHORA MUGHEDHI

kabila - 14 July 2014

Let us be realistic for once its been at least 5 years down the road of toll gates , by now we expect our roads to be the best and most safest for the people who use them. All we are concerned about is were is the money being collected by tollgates going , if we just do a rough survey of 2 months with small vehicles, buses , trucks how much is being collected in 2 months . Senior officials at tollgates pliz look for a way to ease this burden before it gets out of hand , you should remember that not all of us Zimbabweans can afford to pay at least $16 from Bulawayo to Harare on a daily bases ,what will our children eat,drink,wear or will they manage to go to school if we pay so much at the tollgates .

Concerned Citizen - 15 July 2014

Why not reshuffle top officials heading tollgates and replace them with mature or even the younger generation , to at least show a change and be concerned more about us the Zimbos .

Concerned Citizen - 15 July 2014

There you go!!! Did we not vote for them, so why are you guys getting upset?? C'mon man, live with your actions and lie in the bed you made!!!!

Kheda - 15 July 2014

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