Somaliland: Is Traffic Bribery Legalized?

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A motorcycle traffic officer causes a traffic jam as he negotiates for a bribeBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Traffic jams in the capital Hargeisa and some other cities have become a common thing.

The traffic jams which should be attributed to the high numbers of vehicles in our streets is unfortunately as the direct6 course of the officers mandated with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth flow.

The traffic officers cause the long and un-ending traffic jams due to their demand for a token fee for actual offences or imaginary ones.

If you are stopped by a traffic officer the only remedy you have after giving him your car and driving license for examination is to pay some amount for their return, this is regardless of whether you have committed any offence or not.

The road safety officers are also known to sit in the front passengers sit negotiating the amount to pay for the imaginary traffic offences in a vehicle that is parked smack in the middle of the road.

We are all aware that government pay is minimal but this is not a license for the officers to collect bribery as well as cause traffic jams.

If the minimal pay is cause for the bribe taking whom should the other civil servants ask for bribery?

Are the traffic bosses aware that this rampant bribery taking from motorists might be related to the increasing numbers of fatal accidents in our roads?

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