The increment in transport fares on long routes across the country is worrying and uncalled for. The increments on North Western routes from Solwezi to the provincial capital’s feeder districts are far too high to envision. Hitherto, from Solwezi to Mufumbwe the cost of bus transport was KR75.00, now it is KR 110.00, the fares on the Solwezi-Zambezi route have been increased from KR120.00 to KR 170.00. Further, the Solwezi- Chavuma has been hiked from KR150.00 to KR 200.00. If one is travelling from Lusaka to Chavuma, the estimate transport expenditure is above KR400.00. While going to Nakonde from Solwezi, Copperbelt, Lusaka or Kabwe is longer but cheaper; moving from Solwezi, (the provincial capital of North Western Province) to the districts within the province is shorter but more expensive. Why is it so for this province? Are there no Government institutions to check on the exploitation that goes on in the transport sector in this area? Much as we understand the laws of demand and supply in business, the margin increments in transport fares are too much. We understand that transporters need to increase transport fares when fuel goes price goes up but this has to be reasonable. Such arbitrary increments will in turn frustrate Government efforts, programmes and positive will to develop this country. My appeal goes to the North Western Provincial Administration and Central Government to control the exploitation taking place in the transport sector before many people are robbed. Knowing the culture of increasing transport fares arbitrarily by transporters in this country, Government should be putting in measures that protect the citizens in remote and rural provinces from being exploited by unscrupulous transporters. The rural poverty is higher compared to urban poverty, so it will be helpful for responsible Government departments to monitor the passenger transporters in rural provinces like, Western, Northern, Muchinga, Luapula and North-Western.
Kenneth K Muzata