Posts tagged as: rights

Pro-Government People Protest Against UN Human Rights Commission Report On Burundi

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

Communication officer within the ruling CNDD-FDD launched a campaign to protest the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Burundi. She accuses these UN officials of politicizing this UN body.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, issued on 18 April a report condemning the behavior of Imbonerakure-youths affiliated to the ruling CNDD-FDD party. He focused on the chilling video that circulates on social media where youth call for the impregnation of pro-opposition women in order to give birth to Imbonerakure babies. According to the UN official, these young people are supported by some government authorities and ruling party officials.

After the appearance of this video, Nancy Ninette Mutoni, CNDD-FDD National Secretary in charge of Information and Communication, said these young people violated the morals and the ideology of the party. She promised thorough investigations to identify the culprits.

After the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mutoni launched a campaign calling on Burundian women to condemn this UN official. She accused Zeid of producing a biased report. “He wants to politicize this UN body,” said Mutoni.

On 22 April, the people in power staged a rally to protest the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. They accused Zeid Hussein of participating in conspiracy against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Imbonerakure perpetrated rape

Marina Barampama, one of the leaders of UPD Zigamibanga party, condemns the campaign launched by the CNDD-FDD party communication officer. “It is a shame to see a country that does not respect women’s rights,” she says.

She says the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights did his job. “What he said is a reality. Even the governing party CNDD-FDD condemned these Imbonerakure”, says Barampama.

She urges the government to bring these Imbonerakure to justice.

Carine Kaneza, the spokesperson for the Women and Girls’ Movement for Peace and Security in Burundi, says Mutoni contradicted herself because she changed her mind.

“When the chilling video appeared on social media, Mutoni condemned the Imbonerakure who were chanting the violent slogan. The ruling party is conscious of the gravity of offense committed by the Imbonerakure because we are in a context where many women have been raped. That is the reason why Mutoni says one thing and its opposite, “Kaneza says.

For Kaneza, these Imbonerakure are well organized and prepared. The slogans they sang are not part of the Burundian folklore. They were not calling for rape. They had already done it, she says.

For Kaneza, Mutoni’s reaction is not surprising because what is happening in Burundi is very serious. “We are in a situation of massive crime,” she says. This woman activist says that anthropologists who have investigated the case of genocide admit that the denial of crimes is an intrinsic part of the process of mass killings. “Given the political attitude of the Bujumbura regime, we do not expect the government to recognize its mistakes,” says Kaneza.

Participants in pro-government rally in Bujumbura


Four People Killed On Weekend in Burundi

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Uganda: Tobacco’s Ill Effects Surpass Terrorists’ Threats

opinionBy David Kabanda

Tobacco is a leading cause of preventable death globally. After realising this ‘pandemic’, the World Health Organisation adopted the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) treaty on May 21, 2003.

This became one of the most quickly ratified treaties in the United Nations history. The FCTC seeks to “protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” by enacting a set of universal standards stating the dangers of tobacco and limiting its use in all forms worldwide.

The treaty’s provisions include rules that govern the production, sale, distribution, advertisement and taxation of tobacco. FCTC standards are, however, minimum requirements, and signatories are encouraged to be even more stringent in regulating tobacco.

Kenya signed and ratified this treaty in 2004, and the guidelines for the implementation of the convention, while Uganda signed the same in 2004 but ratified it in 2007.

Tobacco use is associated with increased risk of several cancers. It is the single most preventable cause of death in the world. Tobacco smoking caused an estimated 27 per cent of all cancer deaths in 2015. Active smoking and environmental tobacco smoke cause 19 per cent of all cancer cases each year.

In 2015, British American Tobacco’s Kenyan subsidiary filed a High court civil suit claiming that Kenya’s Tobacco Control regulations were unconstitutional.

The court ruled in favour of health, and the tobacco industry appealed. On appeal, again court ruled against the tobacco company; it upheld nearly all elements of the regulations, which are designed to implement the Tobacco Control Act, including a two per cent annual contribution by the tobacco industry to help fund tobacco control education, research, and cessation; graphic health warnings; ingredient disclosure; smoke-free environments in public places; disclosure of annual tobacco sales and other industry disclosures; and regulations limiting interaction between the tobacco industry and public health officials.

These same provisions are in Uganda’s Tobacco Control Act of 2015. The court of appeal in Kenya discussed at length the importance of implementing the WHO FCTC, concluding that the implementation of the convention or the guidelines was not in conflict with the Constitution or national legislation on tobacco control.

The court, while throwing out BAT’s claims, considered the overall constitutional and social context in which the allegations of violation were made. It emphasised the need to balance the rights of the petitioner against the rights of others. It considered the rights of those people who want to trade in tobacco, those who want to smoke, therefore consumers of tobacco products, and the general public exposed to tobacco products.

BAT has not denied that tobacco products have negative effects on the consumers and on innocent persons who become passive smokers by inhaling second-hand smoke. Therefore, there are public health needs that have to be balanced against the intellectual property rights of tobacco industry.

Every Ugandan has a right to a clean and healthy environment. This is not only provided for in the Constitution but also in the Tobacco Control Act 2015. It is also our in law that, in the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms, no person shall prejudice the fundamental or other human rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

It was also considered that BAT’s argument of being a heavy taxpayer is diluted by the fact that what it pays in taxes is cancelled out by the fact that the health sector uses up to three times the amount to mop up the negative effects of tobacco use. BAT was told to be alive to the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

The appellate court discussed that BAT is in a peculiar position as its products have already been associated with a multitude of serious diseases as well as posing serious health risks to the partakers of the tobacco products and the addictive nature of the products.

Because of this, the tobacco industry cannot be compared to manufacturers of other products; the state is under obligation to protect the health of its citizens, both consumers and non- consumers of tobacco.

The court concluded that the ill effects of tobacco products cannot even be equated with the threat of terrorism. This ruling sent a strong message that BAT’s legal claims are without merit and that tobacco industry interference in laws to improve public health will not be tolerated.

The author is a Health Law specialist at the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development.

Digital Education for Schoolchildren Will Promote the Right to Internet

columnBy Fred K. Nkusi

A famous quote by Rodgers says “it’s not enough to know something; it’s more important to know why and how”. This adage tallies suitably with the government’s agenda to introduce a new system of teaching that emphasises the use of computers and internet to impart knowledge in schools.

This is a tailored programme that will enable students to access computers and basic Microsoft software installed in them such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PowerPoint, among others, to digitise subject content delivered in schools, and to help students get access to internet in their schools.

The Internet has become not only the wealthiest information resource in the world, but the most rapid means of communication. In addition to equipping school children with information technology skills and knowledge, typologies of internet application in education is understood as the usage of internet technologies to solve various routine educational tasks, most notably teaching, learning and management of the educational process.

By using web application, it will enable teachers to conduct teaching with such technologies, which for the contemporary generation of students present an integral part of their lifestyle. To school children, the usage of internet-connected computers in classrooms will encourage self-learning and students’ motivation.

Again to the school children, if the changed model of teaching becomes a reality it will profoundly re-shape the students’ behavior to accommodate to the digital age. Giving up the reproductive model and onsetting the creative pedagogy implies an emphasis on the development of independent students’ activities and their critical thinking and skills in fixing real problems that affect society.

Furthermore, when school children are helped to access information and communication technology, it will promote digital literacy in society as a whole. As a result, it will embolden the careers in the science and information communication technology, which tallies very well with national priority areas.

However, a counter balance ought to be done to avoid students using the internet in a manner that is abusive and unorthodox. Arguably, educators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and cybercafé owners must be alert to protect children’s safety when using ICTs and promote their positive use.

As noted in this column previously, internet is not, however, a panacea. Therefore, no reluctance to pre-empt possible cyber abuses, such as cyber-sexting, cyber bullying and other online harmful content.

A paradigm shift to internet usage in education will not only revitalise education-related aspects but will also be a means of promoting the human rights on the internet, as envisaged in numerous national and international norms. Under Rwandan media law, for example, everyone has the right to receive, disseminate or send information through internet.

Understandably, a person has the right to create a website through which they can disseminate information or their opinions, and this doesn’t require the netizen to be a journalist. Like adults, school children have the right to freedom of expression through any media channels of one’s choice, including new communication technologies such as the internet.

Internationally, the same rights people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Aside from recognising the right of the Internet, open nature of the Internet is a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms, including in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Returning to education, no doubt the Internet bolsters quality education that plays a pivotal role in development, and therefore calls for all stakeholders to contribute to this awesome undertaking designed to produce resourceful youth. Equally, it promotes the right to education, which encourages individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits.

Enjoyment of human rights on the Internet by school children is an important tool for fostering citizen and civil society participation, for the realisation of development in their communities and the country at large. However, the promotion and protection of the “digital individual” in a human rights perspective is currently a topic of great concern and some urgency.There’re challenges as to make the protection of human rights effective in the online realm, especially with regard to the privacy.

The right to the Internet enjoyment by school children is inextricably linked with the requirement for privacy protection. The right to privacy is a human right and the need for privacy is universal and deep-seated in each human being. Privacy is essential to human dignity and autonomy in all societies, enabling individuals to create barriers to protect themselves from interferences in their lives, such as their information and communications.

In closing, the Internet is an issue of growing interest and importance as the rapid pace of technological development which enables individuals all over the world to use new information and communication technologies. Thus, training school children in information communication technologies will be catalyst to their future role in bridging many forms of digital divides that remain between developed and developing countries, between men and women, and between boys and girls.

The writer is an international law expert.

Zimbabwe: Econet Major Shareholder Grabs 26 Percent

By Bernard Mpofu

ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe’s majority shareholder has snapped up 26% of the rights issue shares, increasing its shareholding in the country’s largest mobile phone company to nearly 40% as cash-strapped local shareholders followed their rights after the relaxation of the payment terms, results of the capital raising initiative have shown.

In January, Econet announced it was seeking shareholder approval for a capital raise of US$130 million by way of a rights offer of ordinary shares and linked debentures in order to facilitate the servicing of its foreign debt.

Shareholders were expected to vote for or against the rights offer on February 3.

According to the results, the capital raise had a subscription rate of 74,6%, a development analysts attributed to an attractive offer price and the relaxation of payment terms. Over 1,3 billion ordinary and treasury shares were on offer during the capital raise.

The weighted average interest rate on long-term borrowings for the company as at February 29 2016 stood at 7,1% (2015: 7,3%).

In addition to the all-inclusive rate of borrowing of 7,1% the group pays guarantee fees of 6% per annum to Econet Global Limited for the guarantee provided on the multi-creditor loan facilities.

The rights offer will be fully underwritten by Econet Global Limited which holds 30,02% shareholding in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

EWG is registered in Mauritius and has operations and business interests in more than 17 countries around the world, including Zimbabwe. EWZ operates only in Zimbabwe, and has no businesses, operations or investments outside Zimbabwe.

Investment in the shares of EWZ are with respect only to the businesses and activities of EWZ.

The rights offer was almost called off after the country’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe, raised the red flag over the initial payment terms of the exercise which it feared would prejudice local shareholders.

A standoff between Econet, SECZ and the ZSE board resulted in the suspension of ZSE chief executive Alban Chirume.

Analysts had also raised eyebrows over the urgency of the capital raise, saying it comes well before the due date of the debt with some saying this could be a plot to buy out minority shareholders given the current foreign currency shortages in the market.

They also queried why Econet Global did not bail out EWZ given that the debt was secured and the group was receiving guarantors’ fees which are above market rates.

This ended after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ordered Econet to accept subscription of the rights issue into a local account and using bond notes, a controversial fiat currency introduced last November.


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Human Rights Situation Two Years After Crisis

analysisBy Diane Uwimana

“About 720 people were killed, over 80 others tortured since Burundi has plunged into the current situation in April 2015,” says Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza, Chairman of the National Commission for the Human Rights-CNDIH. He also says that between 700 and 800 people have been arbitrarily arrested in different areas of the country. “Thanks to our intervention, some of them have been released”, he says.

The chairman of CNDIH says the human rights situation deteriorated at the beginning of 2015 but has improved day after day. “Considering the situation between 2015 and 2016, there has been some improvement in 2017”, he says.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Chairman of the Association defending the Human Rights and the detainees’ rights-APRODH, says his associations estimated the death toll of 2000 Burundians, imprisonment of 8000 people, flight of thousands of Burundians to other countries , torture of hundreds of people including women who have been sexually abused before their children and the disappearance of hundreds of people. “All this was caused by Pierre Nkurunziza when he violated the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution”, he says.

The same view is shared by Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya Frodebu party. “The violation of the Arusha Agreement and Burundi Constitution caused many killings, tortures, sanctions against Burundi government, corruption, economic embezzlement, and the deterioration of the education system,” he says.

Ngendakumana says Burundi has moved into recession since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial term in office. Ngendakumana says the government and its allies must engage in an inclusive dialogue with the opposition to restore democracy in Burundi. “The only option to end the crisis is the inclusive dialogue”, he says.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, chairman of RADEDU party says Burundi was in trouble for three years but the situation has improved day after day. “The efforts by the troublemakers and opposition to destabilize the country have been undermined year after year. Today, the security situation is good”, he says.


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Liberia: Aureus Mining Faces Lawsuit Over Operations in Cape Mount County

By Alloycious David

Monrovia — Liberia’s first commercial gold mine, New Liberty Gold Mine would soon be dragged to court for allegedly reneging on promises contained in its concession agreement, as some citizens affected by its operations in Grand Cape Mount County has run to Green Advocates International for legal assistance.

Green Advocates International is a group of environmental lawyers providing free legal services to pro poor, and slum communities across Liberia. The group exceptional work in advocacy for the protection of the environment has been recognized locally and internationally.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) pumped over US$ 19 million into the New Liberty Gold Mine, but the project according to local residents hasn’t better their lives as promised.

A citizens’ representative, Elizabeth Fahnbullah, on behalf of citizens of Cape Mount County asked Green Advocates International to help them institute lawsuit against Aureus Mining for evacuating them from Kinjor and for failing to complete housing units it embarked on for relocation purposes.

She told an experience sharing workshop organized by Green Advocates International in collaboration with the Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD) and the Natural Resources Platform on Wednesday that the place acquired to resettle them is in dispute, while a health post project it promised has not started.

The Natural Resource Women Platform was setup in 2010 by a group of women from forest communities and urban slum communities across Liberia to amplify the voices of marginalized women, while ARD is a group of community based organizations working in all 15 counties to resolve issues confronting rural communities, urban slums, squatter communities and independent labor unions in Liberia.

The experience sharing workshop, which brought together rights defenders from across the country, was on ‘using Voluntary Principles and International Grievance Mechanisms to Protect, Respect, and Remedy Rights of affected communities impacted by the operation of extractive companies in Liberia’.

The experience sharing workshop follows four regional trainings held by Green Advocates and her partners that attracted human rights defenders from all 15 counties.

The “using voluntary principles and international grievance mechanism to protect; respect and remedy rights of affected communities impacted by the operation of extractive companies in Liberia” experience sharing meeting was funded by the Australian High Commission Direct Aid Program.

The Direct Aid Program is a flexible small grants program funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs through the High Commission in several countries including Ghana.

DAP projects, reportedly have strong developmental focus and is aimed at contributing to poverty reduction and strengthening poor communities, John Brownell of Green Advocates International said.

In an overview of the Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights, John Brownell said citizens have rights to request information from companies operating in their communities.

He said several international companies are part of the Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights, which compel them to respect the rights of local communities where they operate.

According to John, companies are forbidden from hiring individuals who perpetrated crimes during the civil conflict and ensure that its security guards observed the rights of local citizens, while government is under obligation to individuals who are serving in state security apparatus are professional and uphold the rule of law.

For her part, the Head of Secretariat of the Natural Resources Women Platform, Maminah Carr disclosed that Liberia is not part of the Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights, but said it doesn’t require companies abusing the rights of local communities here.

She corroborated that companies are under obligation to uphold the rights of citizens in accordance to Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights or risk losing their customers.

Speaking on International Grievance Mechanism, Maminah explained that there are many grievance mechanisms and said there are positive and negative sides of the complaining process.

She indicated that the privacy of complainants is also kept private, and told rights defenders that the process is very expensive and takes lot of time.

“It is not like a court. Sometime they will not tell you that you are wrong or right, but will allow you and the institution that you have complaint to talk among yourself,” Maminah said.

The head of Head of Secretariat of the Natural Resources Women Platform also indicated that citizens resort to violence when they don’t know where to complain companies that violates that rights and assured them that Green Advocates International would help them whenever they have complaint to file against concession companies.

Participants lauded Green Advocates International and her partners for the awareness and said the DAP project has served as an eye opener for rights defenders working in rural Liberia.

Oretha Morris, a representative from Neipukollie-Ta in Bong County praised Green Advocates for the training conducted in Bong Mines and said they have started executing what they have learnt. She said they have asked China Union, a mining company operating in their area to repair the environmental damage it has created in their area.

Lawrence Bloh, Head of Sinoe County Human and Natural Resources Rights Movement said the training would help reduce conflict at various concessions across the country.

He made reference to series of confusions allegedly created by Golden Veroleum in Sinoe County.

According to him, many persons are agitating due to the company failure to provide jobs to local residents as and noted that the training now provides knowledge on where residents can turn for redress.

Police Nab Three Suspects Over 45kg Ivory

By Jimmy Lwangili

Police in Dar es Salaam have arrested 350 suspects over various crimes, including two South Africans and a Serbian allegedly found in possession of two pieces of ivory weighing 45kg, in ongoing crackdowns in the city.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday, the Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander, Commissioner of Police (CP) Simon Sirro said the suspects were arrested during crackdowns in various parts of the city.

He said the two South Africans and a Serbian found in possession of the elephant tusks were arrested at Upanga- Charambe area on Tuesday night, last week.

The names of the suspects were withheld to facilitate investigation. The suspects are also accused of involving themselves in narcotic drugs business. According to him, the suspects are held for interrogation and to facilitate further investigations before they appear before the court of law.

“We also arrested a suspected killer, Musuguri Sylvester (24), who is accused of killing his wife, Samira Masoud (34), and hiding her body in a huge water container at Kibamba area in Ubungo Municipality, last month,” CP Sirro said.

He said that during interrogation, the Musuguri admitted to have killed his wife as he suspected her of having an extra marital relationship. After killing her, he sent a short text message to his wife’s relatives to go and collect the body before it decomposes.

The CP further said that other 40 suspects were being held on suspicions of being involved in narcotic drugs business. Thirty three of them were tested by the Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) and were confirmed drug users and others seven are awaiting tests.

He said the other 306 suspects were arrested over various crimes including using marijuana and local liquor commonly known as ‘gongo’. He said the suspects are undergoing interrogation and will appear before the court of law after investigations are complete.

CP Sirro also warned city dwellers over the presence of conmen who call people on their mobile phones and promise to help them get employment with the Dar es Salaam UDA Rapid Transit (UDART).


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Africa: Facebook Hits 170 Million Users in Africa

Photo: The Nation
By Kehinde Olufowobi With Agency Report

Facebook has increased its number of African users to 170 million and plans to expand further by adding Wi-Fi hotspots and fibre-optic cables, in a bid to spread its reach outside of developed markets.

The figure is 42% higher than when the US social network first opened an Africa office in 2015, Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing, said.

The roll-out of Wi-Fi in Nigeria and Kenya will be done via partnerships with international wireless carriers such as Emirates Telecommunications Group and closely held Surf respectively, she said.

Facebook also announced the construction of 770km of fibre in Uganda alongside Bharti Airtel of India earlier this year.

“There is no magic bullet to provide the Internet to people on the continent,” Everson said near the site of Facebook’s new, larger office in Johannesburg.

“We are using everything available to us, including rolling out Express Wi-Fi, building fibre and testing our Aquila project,” she said, referring to unmanned solar powered planes that provide Internet access from the sky.

The plans are part of a long-term investment push by Facebook in Africa, the social network’s least developed market with less than 10% of its 1.9 billion users worldwide.

“People are sensitive to data prices on the continent. Infrastructure is expensive and that is why we are looking for partners,” Everson said. “We are partnering with telecoms infrastructure projects and as a result bring down the price of data.”

The company’s instant messaging service, WhatsApp, is proving “very popular” in Africa, she said, more so than Facebook Messenger.


African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to Visit Egypt, Tunisia

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Diamond Trust Bank Profit Up in 2016

By Hilda Mhagama

Diamond Trust Bank Tanzania (DTB) made a pretax profit of 31bn/- last year up from 27.3bn/- in 2015 after containing nonperforming loans.

The bank, which also operates in Kenya, Uganda and Burundi, said yesterday prudential credit process has contained the nonperforming loans ratio to 2.6 per cent of the total credit book compared to the industry’s current ratio of 9.5 per cent.

Total assets increased to 984bn/- in 2016 from 900bn/- achieved in 2015, while advances to customer jumped to 565bn/- from 536bn/-, the total-nonperforming assets of 15.5bn/- were adequately covered by the total provision of 23bn/- in addition to securities in the previous year, an increase of 27 per cent.

Net Interest Income (NII) grew by 29 per cent from 48bn/- to 63bn/- in 2016 the growth was boosted by higher investment in government securities which stood at 201bn/- at the end of 2016 compared to 158bn/- in the previous year.

DTB, Chief Financial Officer, Mr Joseph Mabusi, told reporters in Dar es Salaam that as per unaudited published results, the pre-tax profit for the banking industry increased marginally by around 0.38 per cent.

“If we compare figures in the industry there is a decline of 2.07 per cent but the bank customers deposit base grew by 9 per cent from 737bn/- to 800bn/- at the end of 2016,” he noted.

Mr Mabusi further said the banks double digit growth was a testimony as majority of the banks grew in single digit. DTB, Country Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Viju Cherian, said in recognition of the vast geographical location of Tanzania and quest to reach customers beyond the existing branch network, the bank has embarked on a project to unveil agency banking.

“The network will increase the banks footprint while taking financial services closer to people especially those in grassroots, the initiative is slated for roll out in July this year, we currently have 26 branches in Tanzania,” he said


African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to Visit Egypt, Tunisia

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is set to visit and conduct sensitisation seminars in the Arab… Read more »

Big No to Unregistered Garages in Residential Areas


Although all citizens are obliged to pay taxes, there are seemingly thousands of people with substantial earnings and fancy titles, yet they don’t pay any tax.

True, increasing number of unregistered garages, some operating from residential areas, employ quite high number of young graduates from vocational training centres as mechanics, painters, electricians…to repair clients’ vehicles.

These backyard garages are sometimes accused of operating as ‘hideouts’ for stolen vehicles, changing the colours and issuing fake registration numbers on the stolen cars to conceal traces.

They are a good source of employment yes, but the bone of contention is; the garages should operate formerly and legally through registration and payment of all taxes to the government. It is common seeing young ‘mechanics’ in overalls repairing vehicles and testing them as drivers, without attending any driving school, let alone possessing the driving license, notwithstanding all the risks associated with driving.

But, who will be responsible incase the novice and unlicensed drivers get involved in road accidents. Some street garages are established indiscriminately, not even observing safety measures. Some operate from close to petrol stations, posing serious public risks. But, it seems all that the garage owners care is to continue minting money.

Previously, there had been some efforts to check the indiscriminately established garages but in vein. And, surprisingly, there cases of vehicles from even public offices serviced at these garages. The informal garages survive partly because there is readily available market.

Many motorists whose key interest is to keep their vehicles moving on the roads prefer these service centres because they are relatively cheap–for they don’t pay taxes and hire cheap labour. Vehicle ownership involves processing its insurance cover, paying road license and clearing the vehicle against any misdeed.

All these processes can be easily traced through formally registered garages.

We firmly believe that it’s high time the authorities either closed all the pirate garages in residential areas or compelled them to comply with the rules and regulations through registration and payment of all applicable taxes.


African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to Visit Egypt, Tunisia

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is set to visit and conduct sensitisation seminars in the Arab… Read more »

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