Monday, July 8, 2013
Students gets stranded at Ubungo up-country bus terminal
PASSENGERS from Ubungo bound up-country bus terminal in Dar es Salaam yesterday found themselves buying tickets at a higher rates in order to travel owing to fewer number of buses plying through their destinations. The on the spot survey in the area at around between 11:30 and 12:00 noon and found an extensive number of passengers who got stranded and seated down under the scorch heat of the sun waiting for buses to transport them to various destinations such as Morogoro, Tanga, Dodoma, Arusha and southern regions. Interviewed passengers said that, they had been experiencing hardship since morning when most of them arrived at the place to seek for a reliable transport, but unfortunately ended up waiting for long hours as only few buses were available at the terminal. A quick Investigation carried out by this paper on the scene discovered that, the situation was caused by the fact that, there were so many students returning back to their respective schools after a long month academic vacation and were due to report as from between Friday this week and Tuesday next week. The Ubungo bound bus terminal yesterday afternoon looked like a deserted area with fewer buses within its compound and one would think of a planned go slow strike which might have been amounted by bus drivers, but the real situation occurred as most buses were fully booked much earlier an aspect that those who came later were left to strand. However, an officer with the Tanzania Drivers’ Association at the terminal Hamisi Juma told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that, the increased influx of passengers was due to students who are returning back to respective secondary schools of the neighboring regions. However, he said adding that, this might be persisting up to next week as most of the school will b e officially got opened. Following the situation, bus conductors have used a loophole to increase the fare due to increased demand by passengers who had flocked their booking offices and without no option had to except to afford the fare issued in available rate in order to let them travel. The survey showed that, among the most found passengers were students of secondary schools based in areas such as Morogoro and few from Dodoma and Tanga regions who had flocked at the terminal returning back to their respective schools to which are supposed to report as from yesterday and Tuesday next week. Ashura Benjamin (16), a form three female student from Sharlotte Secondary school in Morogoro said that, she was forced to buy a ticket for Sh. 18,000/ like other passengers who were travelling to Dodoma and yet she’s supposed to disembark in Morogoro whose legitimate fare is Sh. 6,000/.
Narrating the ordeal, she said that, the bus conductors used the tactics to lure her mind and pretended the spaces in their bus was fully booked and for anyone who could be lucky to get a chance of travelling had to buy one sold at a higher rate regardless of the point of disembarkation. Julius Mshana (17) studying at Kibohehe secondary school in Moshi had to pay a fare of Sh. 30,000/ instead of Sh. 25,000 for a single trip journey to Moshi. While others bought the tickets at an exorbitant rate in addition to the actual amount supposed to be paid per a single trip. Contacted for comments, Corporate Manager and Public Communications Affairs with the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (SUMATRA) David Mziray said that, he was not aware of the situation which is going on at the terminal but had promised to make a follow up to see how to tackle the situation which up to the time we go to press was so critical. Cornered for comments by this writer were some few parents at the terminal who accompanied their sons and daughters and encountered the situation, suggested that, the government should make a systematic arrangement for the opening time of schools in order to avoid such congestion when are due to return back A retired government official Dr. Abdularrak Said Mohammed who was found at the terminal escorting her daughter said that, most students are forced to report on exactly at the said time of reporting from their vacation otherwise a failure to comply with this rule is subjected to a disciplinary action. Yosiah Mwenda, a Dar es Salaam secondary school teacher said in a telephone interview that, the school management mostly restricts their students to report on time afyter end of their vacation as some of them are not trusted as they make some treachery and other excuses which are unnecessary an aspect t that they report late than time. In view of this, however, he said adding that, students are ought to report on time regardless of what might have happened to them unless otherwise stated with supporting reasons.