SPEED GOVERNORS

Although it created temporary chaos all round the country the government stuck to its guns and insisted that from March 1 every bus authorised to carry passengers must have a speed governor fitted to limit speed to 60km/hour. Garages worked overtime as bus owners left the fitting of the governors to beyond the final date.

Wilson Kaigarula the satirical ‘Sunday Mail’ columnist wrote about his fellow journalist’s experiences:

• Since daladala buses were not operating Star reporter Mike Lukumbo decided to cycle to the city. He could have hired a cab but, since his pockets and money are on hostile Mobutu-Kabila-like terms, he couldn’t afford it. This would have the double advantage of impressing his editor that he is a dedicated reporter and would also enable him to trim his size to the Tanzania average …. He is the extreme opposite of a slim man. And that’s what caused the problem. After one kilometre, the old bicycle broke into two equal pieces. Lukurnbo suffered a king-size hip damage and was ferried … to Muhimbili by good Samaritans in a wheelbarrow which a cement dealer by the road had volunteered … to pick up a cab in the wake of the transport crisis would have cost 100,000/-.

• A distant voice – like the distant drums of Jim Reeves – told Sukhdev Msabaha that it was not for nothing that he had scored an A in his fourth form mathematics exam. He calculated that he could use his father’s seven-tonne tipper to make quick money …. half a minute after parking the tipper at the bus stand … it was filled with seven tonnes of illegal passengers, each of whom paid 500/- in advance. But half way through the journey the truck developed mechanical problems. He tried to revive it but to no avail. The passengers noisily demanded a refund of their fares. But the money was too sweet to surrender, so the mathematician-journalist calculated that he could solve the problem dramatically. He engaged the special gear that facilitates the contents of a tipper to spill backwards … .in the chaos he fled the scene ….

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