As the East African Community slowly but surely peels off layers of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs), back home, we are struggling to deal with one of our own making.
Rwandan long distance truck drivers are painfully discovering that our modern electronic driving permits are turning out to be more of a burden than an asset.
The permits have a five-year life span and those that were issued in 2009 technically expired last year.
However, concerned authorities have failed to come up with a solution; either to renew them or issue others with no expiry date.
Why should a driving permit expire after five years and there is no provision to renew it in time? It’s an inconvenience to the drivers who go through the stringent requirements before acquiring one.
Urgent measures should be taken to address this issue as it affects the owners of the trucks and their businesses. Some truck drivers have had to endure delays at several police stops and fines over not having valid driving permits. This affects the spirit of regional integration and ease doing of business.
Although a ministerial order putting a moratorium on the expiry date was done, it has not been respected in Kenya and Uganda. This is causing unnecessary worries to many cross-border travelers who use vehicles and it is an unnecessary barrier.
Our government officers are known for their professionalism and sense of urgency, the current state of affairs (perpetual limbo) is not acceptable and should not blot their otherwise excellent service.
A quick solution should be found before the problem escalates.