A mini survey carried out by The New Times on retail and wholesale kiosks around Kigali city has revealed that traders are complaining about the cost and the standard of new weighing scales that were recently introduced by Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS).
RBS recently carried out a clamp down on what they called fake weighing scales in markets in Kigali City. They confiscated numerous weighing scales.
The clampdown was also meant to phase out cheap weighing scales that they said were tempered with by traders to cheat customers.
But some traders who have pooled together money to buy the RBS-approved weighing scales say that the weighing scales have persistent faults and the others complained that long queues behind one weighing scale, slows their businesses.
“The weighing scale has been returned twice for correction but the fault has persisted. Not a month has passed, but it is broken down,” revealed a frustrated Valence Ntawumwiyahurira, a dealer in Irish potatoes in Kimironko market, who, with his friends, pooled together Rwf180, 000 to buy the weighing scale.
Despite some of the scales being faulty, they are used by numerous traders whose weighing scales were confiscated.
“It cheats the customers since it is faulty” revealed Ntawuriyahurira.
Another trader in the same market who only identified herself as Claire revealed that besides being unable to raise money to buy the approved weighing scales, they are being inconvenienced after resorting to queuing to use one weighing scale.
“We run around looking for weighing scales,” she said.
Another trader dealing in beans, Mariam Mukeshimana, 48, who has been in the business for ten years, said that the lining up with other traders behind one scale has a cost on her business.
“You get a number of customers and because you have to use one weighing scale, some customers can’t be patient so they go elsewhere,” she said.
They are requesting RBS’ to provide them with affordable weighing scales.
The legally approved ones go for between Rwf 65,000 and Rwf180,000.
When contacted, RBS’s metrology officer, Eric Karamuzi, said that the traders poorly handle the weighing scales thus requiring more training.
“It depends on the handling procedure. Some don’t like them. Some don’t even come for training,” he explained.