By Billy Rwothungeyo
IT is one thing to be a shrewd, it is quite another to be a cheat. However, some fuel dealers are resorting to the latter to break even.
Geoffrey Musisi, a boda boda rider at the Shoprite Lugogo stage, says many fuel stations in the Kampala are cheating motorists.
“Many times when I go to a petrol station with sh10,000, the machine shows that I have indeed been given fuel worth the money I have paid, but when I ride a one kilometer, my fuel runs out,” he says.
So rampant is the problem that Musisi keeps riding from one station to another, in the search of a station that will not give him “air”.
Ruhinda, another motorist says: “That is the Uganda of today; everybody is trying to look for something extra to eat.”
UNBS speaks out
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) admits that there is a fight on its hands to weed out such thieves.
The standards body has a pump verification programme that seeks to ensure consumers are getting the exact amount of fuel they have paid for.
After inspecting a pump, UNBS slaps a sticker onto it as a mark of approval.
“We have incidences where, after we have made a round (of inspection), the pumps are tampered with,” explains David Ebiru, UNBS’ deputy executive director in charge of management services.
“When they tamper with it, they are unlikely to connect it back so when we come back, we realise that they have messed with the pump,” he says.
Ebiru says pump tampering is more common upcountry where they know that UNBS does not go out to inspect frequently.
Ebiru believes that one of the reasons why the vice is widespread is because of the weak penalties.
Averagely, offenders part with sh120,000