According to WMA, the regular inspections in different regions have so far showed positive results as most of the traders are now using genuine weighing machines. The inspections have also helped to ensure fairness in measuring of farmer’s crops.
WMA port manager, Peter Chuwa made the remarks yesterday when speaking to this paper at the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) in Dar es Salaam.
He said the agency has been conducting inspections after every 12 months aiming at identifying some dishonest business people who have been tempering with the weighing scales to steal from farmers.
Chuwa noted that WMA has introduced a toll free number which enable whistle blowers to give them information whenever they find some businessmen who temper with weighing machines.
According to him, the regular inspections have helped them to nab unfaithful business persons whose weighing scales have been tempered. He said the agency has taken stringent punitive measures against the culprits.
“When they hear that WMA will conduct inspection of the machines, they pretend to be clean but after we have finished inspecting them, it is business as usual. We have now resolved to continue with impromptu inspections to protect farmers,” he stated.
“We have been responding quickly whenever we are informed on the abnormal practices, we are thankful that people are using the toll free numbers because we are receiving a lot of information,” Chuwa added.
Chuwa said they have been inspecting weighing scales at different industries like cement factories, tiles and steel making industries to make sure all products have the right weight for the benefits of the last consumer.
“For example, if you declare a certain commodity that it is 12 millimeter; we must verify if it is real 12 millimeters, he said.
WMA surveillance manager, Almachius Pastory said they have been educating farmers in the regions of Mwanza, Simiyu, Geita, Mara, Shinyanga and Kagera on the importance of using proper weighing scales.
Pastory said the education protect farmers from unfaithful cotton buyers who normally use fake weighing machines.
He said that farmers can now differentiate between fake and genuine weighing machines.
“This has helped a lot because buyers were taking advantage of farmer’s ignorance to steal from them using tempered weighing scales,” he said.
Section 340 of the Weights and Measures Act, 2002 which was revised in 2016 required them to verify and certify weighing scales used in businesses to ensure fairness.