The Native Consortium & Research Center has raised serious concerns over the the “Waka Fine Buses” describing it as a criminal enterprise, unaffordable and leaving passengers stranded with huge discomfort compelling commercial buses [ Poda-Poda] to follow the increased fare to Le10 in violation of the NLe 5 government price.
The Consortium alleged that the criminal part of bus enterprise is to use the police and the military to protect a public private venture that is already in breach of the Government fare to protect the exploitation and anti-competition with commercial buses.
Native Consortium & Research Center further condemned the extortion scheme with a 100% increased fare (NLe10 pole to pole) alleging the use of the police for a criminal enterprise thereby preventing Keke and other Commercial buses (Poda Poda) not to ply some major streets, leaving passengers stranded with huge discomfort.
The consortium justified that Government bus services all over the world are cheaper and affordable. “All Government buses since 1961 are cheaper and adorable. So the Consortium finds it very strange for the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) to allow the security forces we pay from our consolidated revenue to be used to protect this criminal enterprise. That is totally unacceptable.”
Excerpt of the statement of the consortium reads “A savvy businessman would have entered the market with a cheaper fare, and not to force people. President Bio, this is not what the people voted for. If these Waka Fine buses cannot offer a better life for the people, let them leave us with our Poda Poda, Keke and Okada, as exploitative as they are, this is what the people are used to. Even if the buses serve pizza on board, that is not enough justification to gouch passengers and leaving them stranded.
The government should allow them to compete with their own fare and not to drive the Keke and Poda Poda from the major routes like Wilkinson road. Moreover Sierra Leonean are more tech savvy and no longer naive. The new Waka Fine buses can introduce an app on their route and time it, would have been a better marketing strategy than to force it down the throat of the people. That is hard to swallow,”