TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has outsourced a new international firm to supply drivers’ licence cards and a fresh system that it says would be more secure and end unnecessary delays in the issuance of the vital document.
Work on the backlog of drivers’ licence cards had stalled and motorists are becoming angrier over the authority’s prolonged delays despite completing all the necessary payments. Section 19 (1) of the Road Traffic Act No 30 of 1973 states: “No person shall drive any class of motor vehicle on a road unless he is the holder of a valid driving licence or a valid learner driver’s licence issued to him in respect of such class of motor vehicle.”
But for two years in a row, the TRA Dodoma Regional Office has been short of the crucial cards since May this year, subjecting new and renewing applicants to walk out only with payment receipts.
“I must admit that there are some hitches which are being addressed by the authority. We have resolved to change the contractor,” said Richard Kayombo, the TRA Director of Taxpayers Education. “The new firm is scheduled to start work this month and we hope all the shortfalls will be handled accordingly.”
The director said the authority had agreed with the police unit to allow all new applicants and those renewing their licences to use the old IDs and “should hold their paid receipts during inspections.” There were no further details from the authority, but Mr Kayombo noted that the company awarded the contract in question was a foreign one.
Moses Yohana, a motorist who had applied for licence renewal had not received his card since he last made payments in May this year. He says: “The officer in charge had advised me to come next month (September) ... I am just concerned like any other driver why is it taking such a long time to just print the document.”
The traffic law imposes 30,000/- penalty to any motorist arrested while driving without a valid licence. The same licence is renewed at the cost of 40,000/-. TRA introduced an online driving licence control system as part of addressing fake licences which are blamed for a number of road accidents. Initially, applicants undergo biometric measures and fingerprints.