By Omuno Mogga Otto
The saga about the policy of issuing a new unified driving license organised by the national Ministry of Interior should not be imposed by force on the drivers whose driving licenses are not yet expired.
These days there are numerous incidents where the traffic police sometimes ask the motorists and commercial drivers to produce new driving licenses.
When the policy of changing the old number plates was made, many drivers whose number plates were by then still valid raised complaines against the harsh behaviour of traffic police.
They grumbled because by then, the traffic police started removing away number plates, which were still valid. That was wrong of course.
The information about the arrangement of providing a new unified driving license is not widely publicised. It was made for short period without a wider publicity.
Many people have not heard about it. Such kind of information was supposed to be made widely and should go on for some time. I am sure there was no enough time given for people to renew their driving licenses for free.
I am not aware if the suggestion that the traffic police should issue the license for free was implemented because the primary purpose of changing the driving license was made not only to unify, but also to create revenues for the government.
Enough time and adequate information about a free changing of driving licenses should have been made widely to the public. Even the matter of issuing a free thing for the public in South Sudan through clear and well covered information is always rare. So, my argument is that any valid driving license should be accepted.
The government should stop changing things that cause damage to the economic status of the public at this particular time where the wages of the civil servants have not been paid for months now.
Many people are suffering economically. Civil servants have stayed for more than four months without receiving their salaries. Many people are pushing life through economic difficulties.
The current situation where the high cost of living is being forced by the high inflation in the market has made the majority of the people to face a lot of economic difficulties.
The period between the time of changing the number plates and issuing of new driving licenses is very short. The amount for acquiring the new driving license is around 5,000 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP).
Majority of drivers of private and public vehicles would not easily afford to pay such exorbitant amount of money. The reason is because the economic situation in the country is very bad. So, any driving license which is still valid should be legally recognised as long as it is still valid.
What the Ministry of Interior should do is to stop issuing of any driving license from all the states and allow or encourage all the states to corporate with the Ministry on issuing only the new driving license.
We are in time of economic crisis. This particular period of economic crisis is affecting many people in the country. The government should corporate with the public in this time of economic hardship.