KIA luggage scanners ‘not in use for three years’

19Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
KIA luggage scanners ‘not in use for three years’

SCANNERS for examining luggage belonging to passengers arriving at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) are currently not in use, as they broke down three years ago.

The situation is causing some tourists arriving from foreign countries lose their luggage, while some of the staff at the terminal are unfaithful when reading the machines.

This was reported yesterday during a joint meeting of tourism stakeholders who use the airport, and officials from the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, Home Affairs and regional officials from Kilimanjaro and Arusha.The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu said the government was compelled to convene the meeting after complaints were aired during the reception from South Africa on September 10 of nine rhinos out of 10 who are genetically tied with those found in the country.

“On that day when we were receiving the animals, we received complaints from various stakeholders in tourism who grumbled over the loss of their luggage and visas via the new e-Visa system.

“They said to them this is a big challenge which disrupts the tourism industry because the industry requires competence and faithfulness,” Kanyasu said.Emmanuel Mollel, the chairman of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) said that 90 percent of foreigners arriving via KIA air their complaints over loss of portions of their luggage and have to stand in queue for lengthy periods to have their visas processed, sometimes up to three hours.”

He said the situation angers visitors and it is bound to diminish the country’s tourism market.

“Breaking down of the screen for several years now is a big challenge to tourism stakeholders, in particular tourists themselves, in finding out travel schedules of various planes,” he said.

Another tourist stakeholder from Zara Tanzania Charity, Bernard Sihini, said breaking down of the machine and lack of desk facilities for information was a huge challenge in receiving guests from foreign countries.

Responding to these complaints, the Director of the Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company (KADCO) Christopher Mukoma, said these challenges are being addressed.

“It has taken a long time to install the equipment due to amendments to the Public Procurement Act (PPRA), but we have now completed all the procedures and any time from now the equipment will be installed at the terminal,” he said. The law was amended in 2016.

At the meeting, Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo admitted the shortcoming in the tourism sector and suggested the formation of a committee that will look into various issues confronting the sector as well as its performance at KIA and Arusha airports.

He said the committee should include officials from KIA, private tourist operators and government officials including those from the Immigration Department.

The RC also pleaded with tourism sector stakeholders to stop ill-feelings in the tourism sector. They should compete benevolently to improve the country’s tourism sector operating environment, he added.

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