In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the eastern provinces are grappling with a steep rise in fuel prices at the pump.
In Goma, North Kivu, and Bukavu, South Kivu, the cost of public transportation has exponentially increased. Taxi drivers and motorcyclists have tripled or even quadrupled fares. As a result, the majority of commuters have resorted to walking.
For Espoir Amani, a resident of Bukavu, the simple act of getting around has become a nightmare: "Everyone is starting to walk, even students and children are walking due to the lack of transportation. Taxi fares have doubled, so at this point, the population is suffering significantly due to a significant increase in fuel prices," laments this resident.
On the other hand, taxi drivers argue that there is no solution. Despite the planned meeting to set prices, many fuel resellers are breaking the rules.
Jackson SELEMANI, a taxi driver, explains that these resellers, known as "Khadafis," sell fuel for "4500fc or even 5000fc if you buy it at night."
Despite consumer protests, petroleum companies in South Kivu claim not to be responsible for the price hikes.
According to Urbain KANGE, secretary-reporter of the South Kivu Petroleum Club, "drivers should voice their concerns and request that the authorities set a favorable price, but so far, the price currently set by the Ministry of Economy allows us to renew our stocks and sell our petroleum products."
With less than a month before the start of the presidential election campaign scheduled for December 20 in the DRC, none of the 24 presidential candidates has been disqualified from the race yet, even though limited fuel availability may constrain their movements.