Controversial Ugandan academic and activist, Stella Nyanzi, has criticized what she perceives as unscrupulous and corrupt airport officials.
Nyanzi, who recently visited Ghana, shared her encounter with certain individuals at Kotoko International Airport (KIA) while departing after her stay in Ghana.
Her dissatisfaction with these officials arose from what she described as their exploitation of “vulnerable, economically disadvantaged travelers with slightly overweight luggage on KLM flights.”
She expressed frustration at having to pay a fee of US$150 for the excess weight in her checked luggage. Furthermore, she mentioned that the officials had offered to reduce the fee by US$50 if she accepted their unofficial proposition.
In a Facebook post dated September 9, Nyanzi described her interaction with a specific officer who issued her a seemingly irrelevant receipt for USD$150 regarding the excess baggage.
In a subsequent post, she revealed that she had paid the equivalent amount in cedis.
Read her full post below:
There is a dodgy ring of Ghanaians at Kotoka International Airport who rip off gullible poor travelers with slightly overweight bags aboard KLM.
Comprising all sorts of diverse humans, they wear the airport staff uniform of royal blue skirt or trousers, and white shirts. Some wear royal blue jackets, too.
All of them wear name tags attached to woven string onto which is repeatedly embroidered the word Debill in bright red letters.
An elderly bespectacled woman with a wicked crooked smile exposing foul brown teeth pulled me aside and ordered me to redistribute my luggage by repacking my one piece of checked-in bag and my one piece of hand luggage.
Her skin reminded me of dying crocodiles. Her counterpart is a big lipped man with those biggish flat Ghanaian heads. He wrote for me an ugly meaningless invoice/ receipt of USD$ 150 for the three excess kilos in my checked-in luggage.
I said fine, stepped outside the side of the queue for checking in and repacked my bags. As I pulled my last zip, the same old shameless crook of a ring leader, came and whispered to me that I could pay only USD$ 100 and yet check in both pieces.
“Why?” I asked her.
“Akwaaba,” she responded with another dirty-brown toothed smile.
“But there are valuable documents in my hand luggage,” I said.
“Yes, I know-oh. Mummy, I understand-oh. I will even buy you a padlock to lock your bag very well-oh if you pay the less amount for two bags,” she replied.
This suspicious behavior irked me to the core. I hate blatant corruption.
“Will I get a receipt?” I asked.
“You pay only 100 dollars but check in two bags instead of paying 150 dollars for checking in only one bag,” she replied.