Traders shun recommended weighing scales

Kirehe/ Bugesera - Attempts to introduce weighting scales for fair trading in local markets have been frustrated by traders. They traders claim the new standardised weighting machines are costly and not user friendly.
A trader using the banned weighing scale in one of the local markets. (Photo by S. Rwembeho.)
A trader using the banned weighing scale in one of the local markets. (Photo by S. Rwembeho.)

Kirehe/ Bugesera - Attempts to introduce weighting scales for fair trading in local markets have been frustrated by traders.

They traders claim the new standardised weighting machines are costly and not user friendly.

This follows a mini survey carried out by The New Times in the local markets of Kirehe, Bugesera and other districts in Eastern Province.

The scales were recommended to enable traders meet international standards and avoid cheating customers.
People prefer to use the traditional measuring cans, popularly know as “ingemeri” for measuring cereals and grains and bottles for liquid merchandise like cooking oil.
The findings also indicate that banned weighing scales are still used.

Jean d’amour Hitiyise, a trader in Nyamata main market says the recommended weighing scales were too expensive for small businesspersons.

“The modern scale costs up to Rwf 80.000...this is a lot of money, and we have alternative ones of Rwf 15.000. These small scales are actually, doing our work properly, so why ban them?” he said.

Jacqueline Umutoniwase, 43, a trader in Kirehe market says that the traditional way of weighing and measuring are too efficient, to be replaced.

She noted that customers and traders used the old scales and there were no problem until the new ones were introduced.

“The cans we use suit our rural environment...the weighing scale machines are not easy to move with as we move from market to market in search for customers,” the trader noted. 

Consumers however say, authorities should force traders to use the standardised scales. 

John Rutinduka, a farmer in Kayonza district said traders insisted on the old scales, because they cheat customers.
He believes that there is need for a strict law to ensure accepted weighing scales, are used in the markets.

“The old weighing scales and cans cheat clients; you buy 2 kilogrammes when you have paid for 5 kilogrammes. I don’t see why authorities allow this to go on unchallenged.”

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