Coast drivers decry delay in smart licences issuance

Friday, January 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Residents at NTSA offices in Mombasa, yesterday. They want the government to address delays in renewal of driving licences. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU 

Hundreds of Kenyans seeking to renew driving licences at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) offices in Mombasa have been waiting for months to get their documents.

Allegations have come up that a corrupt cartel has hijacked services at the offices, with licences only being issued to those who part with bribes.

Some residents claim they applied for the new licences in August and have not received them to date.

However, NTSA claimed the delay in processing of the documents has been occasioned by a system failure. 

The claims come a few days after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i directed government agencies to issue such documents within one day beginning July 1.

Most of the agitated applicants are Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators who are seeking to digitise their driving licences.

They expressed disappointment over slow delivery of services and are now calling on the government to streamline the process.

Mombasa NTSA offices were on Tuesday flooded with people seeking the services but some returned home unattended to as it has been the case for months. 

Streamline systems

They claimed the situation has been worsened by few staff and underhand dealings.  

“No one will serve you here if you don’t part with money,” claimed Joseph Said, a driver seeking to renew his driving licence.

Drivers are required to apply for the smart licences through the NTSA at Sh3,050 and the document is valid for three years.

However, those with old driving licences dating 10 years ago have to apply for a fresh driving licence because most of them were not captured in the database when NTSA came to operation in 2014. 

The Association of Driving Schools in Kenya national vice chairman John Magara asked the government to streamline the systems and ensure faster delivery of the digital licences. NTSA started issuing the smart driving licences in April 2018.

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