Please allow me space in your publication to address my observations/concerns with respect to RATSA procedures.
1. Interpol Clearance – For any citizen to visit a neighbouring Country, one needs to first get Police Interpol clearance for the vehicle one intends to use. I am married to a lady whose father is from Zimbabwe. We had a bereavement late on a Friday. I was unable to travel immediately as I had to wait to get my vehicle cleared by interpol, just to visit Zimbabwe.
In this day and age, I believe that this interpol database must be available online. Surely Zambians should be free to travel any minute they wish to. The Police/RATSA Staff at the border can check on their system and clear a vehicle at the border itself. In an unlikely event that they cannot access this database online, I have seen the SA Interpol people that used to inspect cars in Zambia using an offline laptop. This is surely possible in this day and age. While this function is carried out by police in Lusaka, it should surely be moved to RATSA offices (or indeed police offices) at the borders.
2. Drivers License Renewals – I am left to wonder why we have to fill in forms giving the same information we gave the first time we obtained driver’s licenses. Surely wouldn’t it be easier to simply produce my old drivers license (maybe together with my NRC) and a new one is issued on that basis? Secondly why should it take one month to produce a drivers license. If all has been vetted and all is in order why not print the card there and then. We have seen that even banks used to wait for cards to be printed, but now, I can walk into my bank and my debit card is printed immediately.
3. Photocopy requests – RATSA sends people to go and make photocopies of the old license when you apply for a new one. This baffles me. They produced my current license. Why do I have to make a copy of my license when they already have it on their system? Are we simply promoting photocopying business? I think they should get rid of this requirement and rely on the data that is already on their computers. If they need hard copies, they should print them out themselves.