The state has once again announced the return to the heavily criticized road-levies. Members of Parliament (MPs) are pushing to introduce toll charges that could make Kenya’s highways among the most expensive to ride on in the world.
The lawmakers want the legislation to toll the Nairobi-Nakuru, Nairobi-Mombasa, Nairobi-Thika, and the Nairobi Southern Bypass approved before May setting the stage for the introduction of the fees by July 1, 2020.
The law has been criticized the world over for its over-burdening and double-taxation aspects since motorists already pay a fuel levy and a road maintenance levy that was introduced in the 90s to replace the toll fees.
The National Treasury says transport, which makes up about 50 pc of all development revenue, has been starved off cash prompting the state to adopt Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) in the transformation of Kenya’s road networks like in the new road, that is set to link Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the Nairobi Nakuru Highway.
It is from the PPPs that the government has signaled the return of tolls on roads, a levy charged to meet the compensation of private investments in government infrastructure. Transport CS James Macharia say investors relied on a promise that toll funds would be put in place to partner in the project.
The toll levy is however not a replacement to the standing road maintenance levy which points to the tough times awaiting motorists.
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