CECAFA Chronicles: Dar, like Nairobi, chokes in traffic!

Isaac Swila in Dar es Salaam

Like Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s most populous city and one of the fastest growing cities in the world experiences excruciating traffic gridlock that keeps motorists for hours on the roads.

Weekdays and Saturdays are particularly bad days to drive around Dar es Salaam.

Yours truly got a first hand experience on Saturday when I had to sit in traffic for three hours arriving late for a Group C match pitting Dakadaha FC from Somalia against local side Simba SC that took place at the Uhuru Stadium.

Residents here tell me that this is the norm and they are accustomed to it.

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Motorbikes the answer to scribes transport nightmare

Journalists here covering the 40th edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup have devised ways of beating the traffic menace if just to be at the match venues in time. And what a better way to do it than relying on motorbikes.

A ride from Kariakoo area to the National Stadium cost Tsh 5,000 which is about Ksh 250.

Though costly compared to matatus, it is convenient and time-saving.

The ride from the National Stadium to Chamazi Stadium, home to Azam FC, is however costly owing to the long distance and one may part with Tsh 10,000(Ksh 500) or more.

The motorcyclists could also take advantage of the client, especially if they learn you are a visitor.

Journalists fume over lack of internet services

Covering this year’s edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup has not been a walk in the park for journalists moreso from foreign countries.

Unlike in the past when the organisers would put everything in place — local transport, lunch at the stadium, and even internet  services at the press centre, the scribes have been left on their own devices this time round.

In fact, it has been hectic for colleagues chasing for post-match interviews before conjuring ways of having their reports sent to their respective media houses in time. One must therefore arm with huge volumes of data bundles.

Nosy but friendly, Dar waiter keen to visit Nairobi!

Saturday was a busy day for yours truly.Being Day One in Dar, I had to buy a local line and have it registered in my name. Secondly, getting a Forex Bureau in my hood proved a nightmare as most of them had closed by 12pm, after barely two hours of operation owing to the cleanliness directive by the Government, which takes place the last Saturday of every month.

As if that is not enough, I had reports to file and send back to Nairobi, not to mention the dozen live-links with our radio stations .

It was in the process of making these links that one nosy waiter at the hotel I’m residing in inquired if I was a broadcaster. Je, wewe ni mtangazaji?Nimeskia vile unavyongea kwa simu nikajua tu.” I was left speechless but confirmed to her that I was indeed a journalist. She promised to visit Nairobi soon, if we’d welcome her that is!

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