Candidates interested in acquiring driving licenses will now register with driving schools before they are considered for the exam, the Minister for Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harerimana told members of the Senate yesterday.
Harerimana was appearing in the Senate for the second time last evening to shed more light on the questions raised after last year’s damning report that criticised the traffic police unit.
The minister told the Senators that a lot had been achieved since the report was published, saying that policies and procedures have been revised to further improve the force.
“Plans are underway to see that anyone interested in acquiring a provisional licence registers with their respective driving school.
Thereafter, the school will provide a timetable to traffic police of who has completed the studies and is ready for the exam,” he said
Harerimana said that the traffic police unit was working closely with the schools in setting the exams and preparing the smooth running of the process.
Senator Rwigamba Balinda however raised concerns over the credibility of the driving schools.
“We all know the delicate nature of exams and yet you are telling us the involvement of driving schools, what standards have you set to make sure that these exams are not leaked?,” he asked Harerimana quickly responded that the involvement of the driving schools would be minimal.
“The driving schools will help us, but they will not in any way get involved in the setting of exams,” he said
Instead, he pointed out that everything will be done in a spirit of teamwork and the modules used to set the exams will be discussed henceforth with the driving school authorities.
“There will never be an incident where a traffic policeman will mark the exams alone or even know the names of the candidate he will be marking,” he said
He explained that a candidate will be issued with an index number before entering the examination room. None of the police officers issuing the index number or invigilators will be involved in the examination marking process.
The Permit Fee:
Harerimana also reminded that the new driving permits cost Rfw50,000 which will be paid every five years before it is renewed.
This sparked murmurs as several Senators complained about how high the fee was.
Senator Specioze Ayinkamiye was the first to raise her concerns about the fee.
“I read something in your report that Rfw50,000 will be levied on permits after every five years. That’s really too high, I mean, when you pass an exam in school, and you get a diploma, do you continue paying for it after some time?” she said.
Senator Prosper Higiro also questioned the fairness of the fee.
“I would like to talk about the Rfw 50.000 that will be levied on permits. Is it fair really? Personally, I think it is not fair at all. In fact, I feel that the order that put that fee in place should change,” he said
Harerimana explained that the Ministry of Internal of Affairs that he heads was just tasked with the implementation of the Order.
“We (Internal Affairs) are simply implementers, but this is something that can be discussed by the Ministries of Finance and Infrastructure which help in the stipulation of who should pay what,” he said.