Transport CS Macharia summoned over ‘weighbridge influx’
Senators have summoned Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia to explain the rationale behind the installation of numerous weighbridges on key transport corridors.
The legislators argue that the move has led to the ballooning cost of road maintenance as well as traffic snarl-ups due to delays in the screening of vehicles.
Macharia’s summon follows recent massive traffic snarl-up at the Gilgil weighbridge on the Nakuru-Naivasha highway, with motorists forced to spend the night on the road.
Led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina and his Kitui counterpart Enock Wambua, the lawmakers accused the Kenya National Highways Authority of undermining international trade, thus denying the country the much-needed revenue. The weighbridges also inconvenience Kenyans, they said.
The legislators demanded the expansion of all roads to and from Mombasa port to Malaba border.
“It used to take us less time from Nairobi to Nakuru. Now, it takes more than three hours. The ministry should tell this House and country the rationale of having the weighbridge from Mombasa to Malaba,” said Wetang’ula.
“Most of the trucks going to neighbouring countries come from Mombasa. There is a weighbridge at Mariakani that weighs trucks that carry containers with seals. There is no possibility of any container of being opened and additional cargo loaded. Why do we need another weighbridge?”
He, however, said the trucks are weighed again at Mlolongo, Gilgil and Webuye, causing traffic gridlock in the process.
Wetang’ula said although the ministry had acquired mobile weighbridges to curb overloading of trucks, their effects were yet to be felt.
Ole Kina and Wambua called on the ministry to deal with corruption on weighbridges and come up with better ways of weighing the trucks.
“Why set up a weighbridge in Naivasha, yet they still have to be weighed when they get to Busia? We have to come up with a better way of ensuring that there is a constant flow of traffic,” said Ole Kina.