Some bus companies plying the Nairobi to Moyale route have hiked fares under the pretext they are out to recover loses arising from the government directive to limit passenger carried to sixty percent.
Travellers from Moyale to Nairobi and vice versa have to dig deeper in their pocket and pay fifty percent above the normal bus fare which there before was Sh2,000 and has now been hiked to Sh3,000.
A survey by KNA at two of the bus company’s’ offices, which operate on the route, indicated all the other bus companies had increased fares except for Crown Bus. The route has more than five bus companies.
Passengers at the Moyale Raha company interviewed by KNA said they are forced to pay one-and-half times the normal price before the introduction of the new fares following the ministry of health directives on maintaining social distance.
“We are nearly paying twice what we used to pay before this disease came; we ask the government to take action on notorious businessmen charging exorbitant fares yet they do not comply fully with the directive to carry limited passengers; we are still struggling to fend for our families besides the travelling obligation,” one of the passengers said.
At the Crown Bus Company’s office, a female employee who sought anonymity said the company had not increased the normal fare and was not intending to charge more.
She said instead of the normal one bus, which plys daily from Nairobi to Moyale then back, the company had introduced two buses daily to cater for those who will not have space after they were directed to minimise the number of passengers.
“Although the company is losing, this is not the appropriate time to increase fares bearing in mind that the directive of the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, is meant to help to contain the spread of this killer disease,” the lady said.
Elsewhere, a survey by KNA in government offices indicates that only a skeleton staff is in the offices and many of the workers have opted to remain at their homes.
Along the busy Prisons Canteen area where many civil servants shop many of their offices’ items could be seen deserted and many businesses having been closed down.
By Gatana Muchira