„They like bribes too much“

07-02-06I waited for five hours with Edwin at the CMB bus station (central Accra) until it was his turn for loading. In addition to the 21 passengers his Benz bus had to swallow a huge amount of commercial goods. Incredible how they managed to stow it all away. For taking people’s baggage Edwin could collect 85.000 Cedis extra. But 5.000 had to be left behind at the police checkpoint behind Accra. Preventing the policeman from stopping our vehicle and from discovering that we are overloaded, he was given a bribe: When approaching, the mate quickly slipped a note into the policeman’s hand. “Fast!”, a woman sitting behind the driver commented with some appreciation. Avoiding an inspection means avoiding a penalty – but means above all getting home earlier. The latter suits all travellers, in particular when travelling in the evening, in the dark.

Actually Edwin dislikes giving bribes, especially when he knows that his vehicle and papers are alright. Even in this case some of his driver colleagues pay at police checkpoints. For a quicker continuation of their journey. But ... [more]

Experiencing the Accra-Kumasi Road (AKR):

An ethnographic project on roads, commercial driving and everyday travel in Ghana [more]

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