Sunday, September 20, 2020

Graft, politics paralyze transport Department

“Hot seat”, this is the phrase former directors of Road Transport and Safety use to describe the thankless post with most having vacated the office burnt to toast.

Former Director, Moses Sebolai, told Sunday Standard how he was crucified and labeled as corrupt during his directorship.

“I was at one occasion interrogated by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and grilled by the cabinet,” he said.

Sebolai said that the department was very sensitive because it also deals with the collection of money and chances of ill acts are always there, therefore, it needs a very straightforward director.

Former acting director, Oganne Maroba, who stayed in the office for only two months, described the post as “not an easy job.”

The department, whose stakeholders include powerful business interests, commuters who form a significant part of the national electoral college and strong lobby groups of public transport operators has been paralysed by corruption and political interference.
Currently, the hot seat is vacant and the ministry is taking its time before appointing anyone to the thankless job.
Maroba said the ministry should speed up the appointment of a director to minimize the bad things going on there.
“I would not say the department has collapsed in a way due to the problems that the department is facing and I strongly believe that both the permanent secretary and his deputy will turn around the department and get it to be what it used to be”, he said
Maroba said he was optimistic that one day the department will rise above its problems.

Sebolai, on the other hand, described the situation at DRTS as “disappointing” and needing urgent intervention.
The newly appointed acting director, who was at Central Transport Organization and transferred to RTS last July, said he is new in the post, therefore, he could not comment much.

Some of the former acting directors have moved on departmental transfers and declined to speak to Sunday Standard.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.