MOROGORO: PRIME Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa on Tuesday demanded drivers of government owned vehicles to be exemplary on adhering to road traffic rules, regulations and laws to prevent accidents in the country.
He said driving government owned vehicles does not mean that it was a licence for them to breach traffic laws and it does not in any way exclude them from observing road safety rules which are important for their lives and other road users. The Premier further said it was the responsibility for all people to adhere to the set rules.
Mr Majaliwa made the statement while opening a symposium of the Government Drivers’ Association of Tanzania held in Morogoro Region. The symposium was themed “Government Drivers without an Accident is Possible, Let the job continue”.
He said drivers of the government owned vehicles should act as a mirror for the entire community in advocating for appropriate road usage.
In regard to the symposium theme, Mr Majaliwa said it is absolutely true for the government drivers to drive without causing any accidents, but this will only be possible if they will adhere to the road safety rules.
“I congratulate you for picking a relevant theme, which is in line with the ruling party CCM 2020/2025 election manifesto, Article 105 (K), which direct the government to enable the Police Force on among other things, to continue preventing road accidents,” Mr Majaliwa said.
Furthermore, he said the government has undertaken great efforts on addressing the drivers’ challenges, promising to continue addressing emerging hurdles.
Detailing the efforts, he said the government through the respective ministries without disrupting their daily operation changed drivers’ employment recruitment structure by omitting criteria for the trade test in promoting their ranks and salary scale from the last financial year.
He assured the drivers that the government will keep protecting drivers’ interests and is working on their suggestions from the symposium.
Equally, Minister for Works, Mr Innocent Bashungwa assured drivers of maximum cooperation through their association to upgrade their efficiency and earn reasonable remunerations.
He said the ministry in collaboration with its other institutions, including the National Institute of Transport (NIT), will ensure transport officers and drivers obtain relevant training.
Acting General Secretary for the Government Drivers’ Association of Tanzania, Mr Castro Nyambange thanked the government for omitting the trade test criteria, which for a long time prevented them from being promoted.
He urged the government to improve drivers’ allowances for extra duties.
Mr Castro also said the allowances should be paid on time and without favouritism.
The symposium intended to capacitate drivers of the government owned vehicles from regions, councils, public entities and institutions across the country on driving ethics, rules and directives for transforming the driving profession.