Bus plying Bukoba-Mwanza-Musoma route was delayed for over booking

22Sep 2016
Songa wa Songa
The Guardian
Bus plying Bukoba-Mwanza-Musoma route was delayed for over booking

A passenger bus plying Bukoba-Mwanza-Musoma route was yesterday held for one hour in Muleba District for over booking passengers without seats.

Premier Line with registration number T494 AGG arrived at Muleba bus station in full capacity at 8am.

But as it turned out, its agent there, known as Mangi, had booked five passengers after "they had assured me there were seats normally reserved for passengers who embark here."

After learning that the passengers he had booked had no seats, Mangi engaged in a heated argument with the bus' conductor and the driver.

"I called your office before I processed the bookings and I was told there were seats," the obviously furious Mangi shouted at the two staff.

At this time the conductor, known as Iddi, made some frantic calls back to the office in an attempt to establish what had transpired.

"I am the one in charge of making bookings today and I don't know who authorised you to take money from these people," Iddi said.

However, Mangi stood his ground. He used the same office number he uses whenever he wants to make bookings.

"This is not the first time you people are doing this to me," Mangi said:
"Enough is enough."

Fifteen minutes had gone by without any solution. Mangi approached two police officers who were nearby and complained.

The driver was ordered to switch off the bus and come out, which he did.

The two staff, two officers and Mangi stood aside and began 'negotiation'.

That took another 15 minutes. It was apparent: they agreed to disagree. The bus was ordered to go to Muleba Police Station.

After pulling over outside the station, the five men went straight to the traffic office.

Fifteen minutes had gone and none of the men was showing the sign of coming out. By this time, the seat-less passéngers were crammed on a sponge put between the door and gear lever.

This writer realised that the officers were actually chatting outside, meaning only the two staff and Mangi were inside.

This reporter proceeded to the traffic office and found six people: three men standing, talking to a male officer on the left corner of the room and a female officer sitting on the right corner.

"Are you in charge here, Afande," this reporter asked the male officer.

"Yes, I am," he replied:
"Don't worry, the matter has been resolved. You are leaving right away-go back to the bus."

Everybody else left the room except the two officers. This reporter pulled out employee ID, handed it to the officer, then asked for his name and comment for the story to be published.
"For you to get that you have to follow police procedures," he said.

With that, this reporter ran back to the bus. All other passengers were in the bus. It was impossible to get in without stepping on the toes of seat-less fellows.

The driver made a sigh of relief and began to leave. But before he entered the right gear, another officer appeared from the station (not one of the two).

He entered the bus and ordered all passengers without a seat to step out.

"But I was allowed to..." the driver tried to explain.

"Tell whoever allowed you that it is against the law," the officer cut him short, closed the door and signaled to him to leave. The time was 9am.