CS Murkomen Ignores Calls To Reduce Expressway Toll Fees After The Weakening of the Dollar

April 11, 2024

On January 1 this year, new toll fees for the Nairobi Expressway came into effect.

The charges on Nairobi’s elevated highway were revised upwards, with the maximum for small vehicles increasing from Sh360 to Sh500. The lowest charge also went up from Sh100 to Sh170.

The new rates were announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport Kipchumba Murkomen in a gazette notice dated December 31, 2023.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 4B (3) of the Public Roads Toll Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport approves the toll rates for the Nairobi Express Way as set out in the Schedule,” the notice read in part.

Murkomen was questioned in parliament about the increase by Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi. “CS Kipchumba Murkomen, what is your justification for raising expressway rates by 50 per cent? I now believe this regime is satanic.”

His response was first that the increase was just under 40%, and not the 50% claimed by the MP. “First the increase is not 50 per cent. If you take the maximum increase, which is from 360 to 500, you will get a difference of 140 Shillings. if you divide Ksh140 by Ksh360 and multiply by 100, you will get 38.89 per cent.”

The CS then went on to state that the weakening of the Kenya Shilling vs the Dollar was responsible for the price adjustment.

“Now, the last adjustment was done when one dollar was equal to Ksh113.14. Now the dollar is Ksh157 and using the same method i.e. Ksh157 minus Ksh113 which is equal to 44. Divide 44 by 113 and multiply by 100 and you will get 38.9 per cent. So the increase is proportional…The formulae for computing the new rates are already embedded in the agreement taking into account the loan facility by the investor which was borrowed using USD.” he explained.

The CS however did not elaborate on the frequency of toll fee review, and now Kenyans are impatient.

Since his explanation, the Shilling has strengthened substantially, trading at 129 vs the Dollar as of this writing. Some Kenyans are now wondering why Murkomen is quiet on any potential decrease in the expressway toll fees.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi first brought up the issue a month ago when the dollar had fallen to Sh139.

Why is CS @kipmurkomen not reviewing the rates for the expressway downwards now that the Shilling has appreciated against the dollar (from 1 dollar Kshs 165 to 1 dollar Kshs 139)?” he wondered

After a month of silence from the CS, the Senior Counsel brought up the matter again Thursday, tweeting, Surely CS @kipmurkomen …your silence is too loud to be ignored anymore…ACT in God’s name! The American dollar is at Kshs 125…Reduce the rates…TODAY!”

CS Murkomen is yet to respond.

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