- The operation was launched on Thursday hardly two weeks after Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro had announced about the operation that aimed at recovering over Sh12 billion in fines from traffic offenders.
Dar es Salaam. Police have launched a countrywide operation against drivers who have been dogging to clear fines that were long overdue after committing traffic offences.
The operation was launched on Thursday hardly two weeks after Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro had announced about the operation that aimed at recovering over Sh12 billion in fines from traffic offenders.
IGP Sirro said in Dar es Salaam on January 4, this year, that some people owning more than one vehicle were removing the numbers plates of cars not fined and fixing them on fined cars, which they continued to use on roads, wrongly thinking that they had escaped their fines.
Reacting to the announcement of the new move, a commuter bus driver plying between Masaki-Simu 2000, Mr Augustine Malango, said dogging paying traffic fines would not help any driver as it would end up being a trap against the very same person.
“If you don’t pay fines and a traffic officer discovers that you have not paid that fine, then you would have to bribe that officer, say Sh5000 to avoid being arrested. You will again give Sh3,000 to another officer and you will keep doing that to other officers while the Sh30,000 keeps accumulating penalties. So, it is a loss to the driver,” suggested Malango.
For his part, motorist Hamza Lyeme opined that the operation would step up seriousness by fellow drivers and reduce accidents due to human errors.
”Despite other restrictions by traffic officers, still you may find that many drivers are rude. So, there is no option, but to pay a fine,” he said.
In executing the operation, police officers would be accompanied by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officers to inspect vehicles in various areas including streets, car parking areas, garages and along key roads.
Despite having no statistics about the seized vehicles in the past two days of the operation, nine regional police commanders told The Citizen yesterday that the operation was being conducted on vehicles within the relevant regions including on transit vehicles.
“We launched the operation yesterday (Thursday). We move around streets and the response has been good despite the fact that I have no statistics, but we are required to work on the fines from our region, totalling over Sh12 billion. So, we urge those drivers who have not paid their fines to do so,” said Kigoma Regional Police Commader James Manyama.
For his part, Mbeya Regional Police Commander Ulrich Matei said they are required to collect a Sh333 million fine through the operation while Coast Regional Police Commander Wankyo Nyigesa urged drivers who have not paid their fines to give themselves up to police in the region.
The operation is also on in Dodoma under its Regional Police Commander Gilles Muroto including Njombe Region under its Police Commander Hamis Issa, who claimed to have seized over 60 vehicles on Thursday and the owners paid fines. Simiyu Regional Police Commander Richard Abwao said they would officially launch the operation today swooping any open space.
“The aim is to collect traffic fines. So, we urge those drivers who have not paid their fines to do so in order for them to be at peace,” said Commander Abwao.
Ruvuma Regional Police Commander Simon Maigwa said a Sh17.2million fine was collected on Thursday from 87 vehicles seized in the operation, also urging those drivers who have not paid fines to do so.