THE decision by Rwanda to increase road toll for Tanzanian trucks from 152 to 500 US dollars, almost three times higher, is outrageous much as it is very unfortunate.
Taken at a time when there seems to be 'bad blood' between the two East African Community (EAC) partner states, the simple 2+2 arithmetic logic points to the continuation of acts of provocation against Tanzania by our north-western neighbour.
It doesn't require a professor of economics to state that the outrageous increase in road toll is aimed at effectively deterring transporters from using the port of Dar es Salaam as a transit for Rwanda-bound cargo and export route.
Which transporter in his or her proper frame of mind would part with 500 US dollars instead of 152 US dollars toll for using our roads? In the business world where profit is paramount, any transporter or freighter will go for the cheaper and economically viable options.
Without wanting to be too graphic, all this points to the already visible signs of a deliberate move by Rwanda to shun Dar es Salaam and turn to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, which in terms of distance is too far by comparison and thus costlier.
According to reports, there were about 200 trucks stranded at the Rusumo border post by last Sunday, with owners unable to pay the new rates as information on the rise in road toll reached them late.
All this will surely impact negatively on the local trucking business as owners will be obliged, unfairly and unjustifiably, to pay treble as much for what they have been paying only very recently and for the same.
The Port of Dar es Salaam has for decades served as the main gateway for East and Central Africa, given its suitable location compared with other ports in the region.
It has effectively and with utmost dedication served in that role over all these years, helping build the region's economy.
We are neither begging nor asking for any special favours from anyone. But in the true spirit of good neighbourliness, the East African cooperation spirit, the Great Lakes Region togetherness to which we are all devoted signatories, Rwanda should come off it, act more rationally and stop this mind game as it will ultimately come to no good.