18 June 2017

Tanzania: Passengers Stranded As Bus Drivers Down Tools

Mbeya — Passengers travelling from Tunduma to Mbeya faced a test on Saturday after drivers of busses downed tools, claiming that they were tired of being harassed and troubled by traffic police.

They claimed that traffic police have a tendency of arresting and fining them without any apparent reason.

Following the drivers' boycott, the passengers were seen struggling to find alternative transport including using other vehicles such as Noah so that they could proceed with their trips. Others were ferried by trucks.

One passenger, Mawazo Tandika, who was at the Vwawa-Mbozi bus station said the situation affected many people as until Saturday evening they were still gathered at the bus stand.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a bus driver said they had decided to down tools after traffic police deployed on Tunduma -Mlowo-Mbozi highway were increasingly using them as cash cows.

When asked about the complains against his officers, Songwe Regional Police Commander, Mr Mathias Nyange, dismissed the claims saying the traffic officers were working based on the country's laws and regulations.

The RPC warned the bus drivers that their action could lead to, through the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra), cancellation of transport licences of owners of the buses for contravening the laws.

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