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Minister halts licence crackdown

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by BabuK, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
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    Home Affairs Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha yesterday granted bus drivers one-week grace period to acquire the new driving licenses, temporarily halting the crackdown that almost paralysed passenger travel between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

    Sumatra and police jointly conducted inspection at major bus stands in Arusha on Monday and Dar es Salaam yesterday and found that many bus drivers were yet to acquire the computerised licences, whose deadline was 31 December, last year.

    Speaking over a telephone interview in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Police Traffic Chief Mohamed Mpinga said the Minister's decision was meant to ease transport services especially during this time when demand is high with people returning from the holidays.

    Mpinga said bus drivers have been allowed to continue providing services, but to make sure that they acquire the new licenses before January 10, this year when the grace period ends.

    "This is a humanitarian decision…the minister was being considerate to the people who were grounded on Monday due to sluggish and reluctant drivers who do not want to obey orders", he noted.

    According to Mpinga the crackdown is likely to continue after January 10.
    He said they were forced to conducting the spot checks because the deadline was over and some drivers were yet to go to school and were still using old driving licenses.

    "We are aware of increased transport demand during this festive season, but we had no option as drivers don't want to obey government orders", he said.

    Mpinga said the government gave drivers with class C driving licenses almost 15 months to go for professional driving courses at the National Institute of Transport (NIT) and then process the smart card licenses, but only a few responded.

    He said that police and Sumatra are responsible of ensuring proper implementation of the government order.
    Meanwhile, Aloyce Mpandana of TSJ reports that service were almost at standstill at the Ubungo Bus Terminal yesterday as traffic police conducted a surprise inspection barring 42 bus drivers who were yet to get the new licences from embarking on the upcountry journey.

    Kinondoni Traffic Police Operation Officer Yussuph Kamotta said the bus drivers still holding the old licenses were stopped from offering their services until they acquire the new ones.

    A driver, Alex Sogerera backed the government move to upgrade the licences, but said the 200,000/- tuition fees for two weeks at NIT was too high for them, considering that most of them were experienced.

    Another driver Emanuel Steven said bus owners had tried to outsmart the police by temporarily hiring qualified drivers to drive the buses out of the stand.

    An employee with Al-Saedy bus, Ibrahim Awadhi said the government's decision is commendable, but suggested that not all the drivers are in need of NIT training.

    He said it was not fair for experienced drivers to pay 200,000/- to undergo two-week lessons in safe driving, while they have driven passenger's buses for year.

    The new system currently being implemented in Arusha, Moshi, Mbeya, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam, aims at curbing violation of traffic rules and regulations.

    The new licenses which were in use since September 15th, last year contains all drivers' particulars--such as previous driving offences, photograph, signature and finger prints to deter forging.