Transport minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe yesterday made a surprise visit to Ubungo Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam where he fined 25 upcountry bus operators 250,000/- each for charging passengers beyond indicative fares.
He also ordered the operators to return extra fares they had charged to passengers and tasked the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) to step up monitoring mechanisms to avoid similar incidents in future.
According to the minister, his visit followed complaints that some upcountry bus passengers were being forced to pay more than indicative fares set in accordance with transportation regulations by the transport agency.
Citing an example, Dr Mwakyembe said unscrupulous bus operators had increased fares from 35,000/- to 60,000/- per trip for passengers traveling to Mwanza, contrary to set regulations.
He reminded the bus operators that, despite the fact that they operated their services commercially, they were bound to follow indicative fares set by the agency.
“I am going to hold a serious meeting with Sumatra on this matter…next time I won’t come here…it’s their responsibility…if they fail to supervise this, they will have to look for another jobs to do,” Mwakyembe warned.
Sumatra acting director-general Ahmed Kilima called upon passengers to collaborate with the authority in disclosing bus operators charging beyond indicative fares.
One of the passengers, Amina Said: “We thank him for that…he has enabled us to get back the stolen money from these people…we beg him to visit other terminals, especially those in big cities like Mwanza, Mbeya and Arusha.” In another From Page 1
development, Dr Mwakyembe told journalists that plans were underway to take photographs of all long-haul bus drivers in an effort to control the increasing problem of incompetent drivers.
“There is a problem of changing drivers after the buses have left the terminal, as a result some drivers, who are not competent, drive the buses along the way…we have introduced a system of verification through the internet by using photographs,” he explained said.