I would really like to appreciate the brilliant analysis done by the Senate Committee on the corruption issue and especially on the traffic police.
I highly appreciate the services of our traffic police. But I would like to mention that, in the course of keeping law and order, certain measures are put in place without thinking about the consequnces.
I think that the Police management raised the traffic offence fines because they thought that it would force people to reduce traffic offenses.
But they forget that the large percentage of errors made are not committed intentionally. I don’t mean they are un-avoidable but happen as a result of human error.
So what I see when the traffic police increase the fines everyday, I feel that it isn’t with the objective of keeping law and order but rather turning a profit.
This has made the Traffic officers not really sensitise the community but simply look for mistakes.
It is painful when a driver tries to explain why he/she didn’t know that a certain action was wrong and a traffic officer simply writes them a fine without taking the time to explain the mistake they made.
I would like to talk of the point noted by the Senate on Umuganda. Normally, the Umuganda’s main objectives are for the community to volunteer their time to the country and also to bring together people living in the same community together as it is in our culture to share and socialize.
But when the Traffic police make it a crime not to attend, it really turns from its primary definition and becomes a mandatory forceful activity.
Why do I say this?
I believe in the 5,000Frw fine charged for missing Umuganda but only as long as that fine is paid in the context of correcting someone (Gucibwa Icyiru in Kinyarwanda).
This is like an act of discrediting someone for not socializing with others and not volunteering for the good of your country- but not really a crime when put in the proper context, even though in the law.
Unless the fines charged are revised, it’s going to cost us a lot because it will encourage the deadly disease of corruption that can rot a nation within the blink of an eye.
Trust me, one won’t pay 50,000frw when a traffic officer is ready to accept 10,000frw bribe and let it go.
And remember, police management that you have to keep in mind how much your officers earn. It becomes hard for someone to refuse a bribe that is almost his/her entire monthly salary.
I would like to ask the Senate to continue asking the hard questions for the good of our nation. The thing I fear most is a nation that is full of corruption