Lira motorists and entire Lango sub-region are waiting.
By Frank Oyugi
Lira – December 1, 2022: It has been decades that a section of the population who owns automobiles in Lira have been literally crying over the high cost of obtaining a driving licence or what is commonly known as a driving or riding permit.
Before Face Technology became obsolete, motorists had to travel to Gulu to apply and also attain a driving permit, something they say was irritating and time wasting.
Most of them would phone local FM stations in Lango severally to beg the government to consider establishing a centre in Lira where they can acquire driving permits.
The good news has, however, finally arrived with Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, the minister in charge of works and transport who announced that the government is considering opening five new centres for issuing driving permits, Lira inclusive.
This is through a letter he authored on November 28 2022 and addressed to Lira City woman Member of Parliament Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng who also doubles as the minister for health.
“As you may be aware, the government of Uganda represented by my ministry of works and transport signed an Agreement with Uganda security Printing company (USPC) on 11th October 2020 for the processing and issuance of driving licences on behalf of the ministry of works and transport,’’ Gen. Katumba wrote.
He continues to state that “my ministry approved the opening of more five (05) driving licence issuance centres for more efficiencies and extending driving licence services in the following regions: Hoima, Masaka, Lira, Kabale and Moroto.
According to the minister, the offices shall be situated at the regional offices of Uganda Revenue Authorities in those districts and he states that his ministry has engaged Uganda Security Printing Company to inspect URA offices and ensure it has the required amenities.
Among the requirements are, an office space of at least three rooms measuring 5mx6m, public toilets, packing space of at least 20 vehicles, electricity and water and it should also be fenced.
Uganda’s traffic Act as amended makes it mandatory for one to acquire a driver’s licence to be able to drive in public.
It should also be noted that persons who drive before acquiring requisite driving skills and obtaining a driver’s licence accounts for a larger percentage of road carnages in Uganda.
Lango region has also seen some of the fatal road crashes, the recent one killed 9 people after a Fuso truck returning from Ajuri market in Alebtong district veered off the road.