Police to reduce road blocks on tourism route

Monday December 17 2018

Arusha regional police commander Ramadhani

Arusha regional police commander Ramadhani Ng’anzi. 

By Filbert Rweyemamu @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. There will be only four police check points along the major highway to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti National Park from Arusha.

The move is intended to reduce inconveniences often experienced by thousands of tourists visiting the two famous destinations as well as other travellers using the route.

“The stop-overs will be only for inspection of vehicles to test their roadworthiness,” revealed regional police commander Ramadhani Ng’anzi.

He told a recent meeting of the regional leaders that the decision followed a directive a few months ago by the minister for Home Affairs Kangi Lugola.

There had also been pressure from tourism stakeholders that police checks along the route had become cumbersome and counter-productive.

Tourists from abroad have often complained that the road checks by the traffic police often delayed them from reaching their destinations, including to the airports for their flights. “We will work closely with different stakeholders to ensure tourists are not unnecessarily inconvenienced,“ he said.

noting that tourism was key to the country’s economy.

According to Mr Ng’anzi, the four police checks where tourist vans and other vehicles will be stopped for routine checks include Kikatiti and Ngaramtoni.

Kikatiti is meant for vehicles carrying tourists who had just disembarked at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) while Ngaramtoni are for those from the Namanga border town.

Others are junction town of Makuyuni in Monduli district and at Karatu, the main gateway to Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) and a stop over to Serengeti.

The executive secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) Sirili Akko commended the move, saying it would enable the foreign visitors to leave happily and become Tanzania’s unofficial envoys in tourism.

He said before then, there were up to 15 police check points between KIA through to Arusha up to the Ngorongoro gate, something he said inconvenienced the visitors.

In mid this year, some tour operators in Arusha expressed their bitterness against countless police checks on vehicles taking visitors to the tourist sites, claiming they were unnecessary.

Some of them likened it to a syndicate out there to fleece the tour companies of their hard earned money, saying the alleged traffic offenses do not warrant such harrassments.

“We are not against the police checks but they should be systematic. There should be designated areas, not everywhere”, lamented Andrew Malalika, the director of Jackpot Tours and Safaris.