By SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO, 30th March 2011 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3071
POLICE are using special Black Berry mobile phones to reduce the number of roadblocks in a bid to ease cargo transportation to neighbouring countries.
The numerous roadblocks and checkpoints on highways delay the delivery of goods, raise transportation costs and limit free movement of commodities, persons and investments.
It is estimated that the country loses an average of 90m/- monthly, being paid to few corrupt police officers as bribes in the roadblocks.
In a distance of 1,200 kilometres from Dar es Salaam to Rusumo for example, on the Tanzania-Rwanda border, there are about 58 roadblocks which have not only been reducing cargo transport efficiencies but are also an embarrassment to transporters.
According to Mr Johansen Kahatano, staff police officer from traffic department with the use of special mobile phone technology, time spent for clearance process at the checkpoints would be minimal.
"To begin with, police force would procure high tech mobile phones restricted for that purpose only, to be used by traffic police at the specified roadblocks and checkpoints to verify drivers and truck details which uploaded at the point of departure," Mr Kahatano said.
He said in the project scheduled to takeoff later this year, all details regarding the consignments, truck and driver would be available online easing verification process.
He said the use of mobile phones to track down information is one of the efforts by police force to modernize its services. Also the technology would facilitate in disclosing false declaration of consignments in transit and get rid of unnecessary delays at check points on highways.
"Police force will continue to adopt various Information Communication Technology (ICT) software package to increase efficiency in tracking down crimes to improve service delivery especially in maintaining peace and harmony," he added.
The 1.8 million US dollar project financed by the Investment Climate of Africa (ICF) would improve and expedite the movement of goods by streamlining verification procedures and removing road blocks and enhancing security along the highways.
The police force-ICF project would at its first phase target the Dar es Salaam-Rusumo border road then the Mbeya-Tunduma and Namanga routes will follow.
To cut down a number of roadblocks, Mr Kahatano said police force would establish checkpoints at the weighing bridges across the country. For example, the programme aims to reduce the number of roadblocks from Dar es Salaam to Rusumo to 15 from the present 58.
Police force, he said would under the system manage track the movement and safety of vehicles and with few road blocks on the highways, the time and cost of moving goods will be significantly reduced.
He warned traffic police officers of bribes as well as stopping illegally trucks at checkpoints, saying it would amount to penalties.
"Disciplinary measures will be taken against traffic police against violation of the police rules," he insisted.
He said police force would make use of the present infrastructures of the weighing bridges, as roadblocks and checkpoints to reduce unnecessary stoppage in unrecognized places.
Transporters and clearing agents expressed deep concern over the excessive number of roadblocks.
Mr Otieno Igogo, the President of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) and the Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA) Executive Secretary, Mr Zacharia Hans Poppe, said the implementation of the project would liberate transportation business from a number of hurdles.
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