RTSA proves me wrong, they are efficient!

 RTSA proves me wrong, they are efficient!

By Humanness Edin
(The name is fake because I was threatened that if Mazhandu crew know my name will deal with me and bar me from using their Buses)

So I was travelling from Copperbelt on one of common buses which I have been using for the past 18 months there about. Am a usual customer on this bus and I was impressed with the friendliness of one of its drivers , the first day I used the bus.

Since then, the bus has been my preference to an extent that if I don’t find this bus that goes straight to my destination, I would board the next day.

However, as time went on, different drivers proved different attitudes BUT because the impression was already made by the first driver I encountered, this didn’t matter anymore.

Time came when I experienced the worst from this bus – the driver was alone and very rude.

For example, he carried parcels for various persons , and travelling from Lusaka to Copperbelt. This drivers was ever arguing with recipients of parcels castigating them, and telling them off – to be patient. His tone was as if he was doing the receivers a favour when in fact, the senders paid for the parcels and so good customer service was required from the bus driver.

Coincidentally, one of the passengers sitting in from of me, noticed the ills of that particular driver. Other than being rude and diminutive, the driver was often on phone as we entered each town, calling the receivers of parcels to rush to the station.

The arrangement was that, the senders paid for parcels but they had been given luggage receipts instead of courier receipts. The difference is that, a luggage receipt is an ordinary one where if you’re on a bus and you have excess luggage, you are charged some extra monies at the determination of the bus conductor and driver. Sometimes, you don’t even pay.

But for a courier service, a receipt is given to you when you send something and you need not be on the bus to use this service.

However, it was clear that the senders were exploited and given a luggage receipt and made to believe that their parcels was courier based.

Note; when parcels is sent under courier services , and when such are damaged or get lost, the bus operator has a mandate to compensate a client over the loss.

Many people don’t know the differences between being issued a courier receipt and luggage receipt, after sending parcels thereby fall victim of scrupulous persons working for these bus operators.

However, when a parcel is sent but you’re issued a luggage receipt, just know the people who received that parcel and issued you a luggage receipt pocketed the monies and may have done so in collaboration with the particular driver of the bus where your parcels is placed.

In such instances, the driver or conductor calls the receivers of the parcel to rush to the station for them to receive the parcel. The driver or conductor calls just when the bus is almost 30 minutes before the station so that the receivers are found at the next docking station.

This is so because, the driver does not want to leave the parcel with anyone else at their booth, first because their workmates are given instructions not to receive and keep parcel that have not been paid for to the company under courier services and secondly, its the bus driver’s way of ensuring that the parcel whose money they shared with their colleagues who issued a wrong receipt, reaches the intended persons.

Am sharing this background for people to understand why the bus driver am referring to was almost always on the phone as we entered each town enroute to Copperbelt.

However, my neighbour took photos of the driver while on the phone because he was just behind him. He took the photos of the number plate and sent them to social media. I only noticed the pictures and complaints of the neighbour hours after we had reached home, with my wife.

I thought the neighbour was too radical and I felt he shouldn’t have done that because for me, this company is okay – a judgment I made after my first encounter using the bus.

Somehow, I realised that not every bus driver is like the one I initially encountered.

This time around, I was Lusaka bound.

The bus driver was careless, rude and vulgar against just even fellow motorists who refused to give him way after he blundered on the road.

So I made a complaint to a Chingola based local private newspaper run by a colleague. The editor of the newspaper forwarded the message to Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and gave them my contact details. I had no idea my colleague took this route.

Anyway, within few minutes , RTSA responded. They communicated with management of the said bus driver and subsequently, this person begun talking ill of whoever complained. He claimed the person who called RTSA was among the ‘Satanists’ that want to see the company he is working for go down.

Of course, this is not true. Its a matter of ensuring that bus drivers adhere to road safety rules set by regulators with a view of contributing towards curbing or reducing fatal accident.

In his language, this person became seriously vulgar and even swearing at whoever ‘the devil’ lied to RTSA that he was wronging on the road.

Whether or not the complaint was a lie is left to posterity to judge me as a whistle blower of this particular incident.

Today, I want to salute RTSA for a quick response. We may underestimate this institution but the speed at which they attended to this particular complaint is something I have never experience in our country, under any government owned institution.

RTSA even called me to confirm my complaint and to get some information such as when this particular ‘misbehavior’ of the bus driver took place, what time the bus started off etc.

I urge people to be responsible enough to report poor driving even when you are not in the vehicle that is being driven badly yet endangering others – we have a responsibility to be road smart and this extends to ensuring that our fellow road users are road smart.

I salute RTSA.
Concerned road user

The Independent Observer


John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.