People think that the new road code may promote corruption rather than preventing it. Burundi has recently changed its road code. People may wonder why the Road Security Police decided to revise this ancient code.-By Jean Berchmans Siboniyo
“We revised the road code because there were some mistakes which were done without any written law to prevent them or punish their doers”, says Arthémon Nzitabakuze, the Commander of the Road Security Police. However people say that this new road code is so severe that it would be very difficult for them to comply with.
The new code can be the source of corruption, as stated by different drivers and bus conductors met at the parking place called ‘Gare du Nord’ of Bujumbura in Kamenge Commune. The same view is shared by Jean Bosco Minani, the Counselor in ATRABU, an Association of Drivers in Burundi. He indicates: “it too difficult to abide by that law. Furthermore, penalties imposed on wrong doers are too severe. We carry passengers from the countryside who come to visit their families in town. They often come with something like bananas, beans, sweet potatoes … How will we carry them? Will they take two buses? We will not leave them on the road. If ever we are caught, we will prefer to bribe the road security policemen with BIF 5,000 instead of paying the fine of BIF 50,000-fine. And I am sure that it will be that way.
The Road Security Police reacts
“People should not fear the penalties. They should fear making mistakes instead. The law is for their interest. Concerning the fact that they would bribe the road police agents, the law also penalizes the giver and the receiver”, states Arthémon Nzitabakuze. “What is refreshing for people is that the new code is not established once for all to last forever. If it is proved that the new code is not really adapted to the situation, it will be revised again”, he adds.
According to the police, drivers and travelers ought to read so as to know the new road code content for working in harmony with the national law to avoid the heavy fine and create a good atmosphere with the authorities. The new road code is available in the ATRABU offices, first floor, in the building next Obama Shop situated in front of the North bus parking.
Arthémon Nzitabakuze “People should not fear penalties. They should fear making mistakes instead.