Cross-border bus services wanting

Editor, In September 2014, I needed to urgently send a parcel to Jinja, Uganda. I went to their offices on September 16, 2014 at Nyabugogo and, after paying the requisite fees, they assured me the parcel would be delivered in Jinja the following day.

Editor,

In September 2014, I needed to urgently send a parcel to Jinja, Uganda. I went to their offices on September 16, 2014 at Nyabugogo and, after paying the requisite fees, they assured me the parcel would be delivered in Jinja the following day.

Yet it did not arrive at the destination until September 27— 11 days later! Their story was that the conductor who carried the parcel from Nyabugogo fell asleep on the way to Jinja and carried the parcel all the way to Nairobi. On reaching Nairobi, he fell ill (with the document) for five days and finally gave it to his friend to bring back to Jinja.

A recent episode is even more disgusting to say the least. Sigma Knitting Industries, based in Jinja, sent a box containing 48 assorted shirts on December 5, 2014 to Kigali. Kampala Coach Staff in Jinja assured the sender the consignment would arrive in Kigali in the afternoon the following day. From the time the stuff was loaded, it could not even be located until December 26!

At one time their officials were saying that Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) had taken the consignment to Magerwa to levy the requisite taxes. We went to Magerwa and the package was not there. The story was revised, that the box had been impounded by RRA because the bus staff had tried to cross the border without declaring the cargo.

The parcel was finally located with only 47 shirts on December 27 in the RRA warehouse at Gatuna—three weeks after the same had been loaded on the bus. On top of the taxes and additional charges to transport the package from Gatuna to Kigali, we had to pay a hefty penalty for having tried to bring smuggled goods to the country.

Do these transport companies have a code of conduct which regulates the services they provide to the public? Is there an authority to which aggrieved parties can report such shoddy services and/or even seek redress where they have had to incur additional costs because of the carelessness of the transporter?

Edmond Rugumire