Politics and policy
Road licences back to contain rising theft of cars
Posted Thursday, June 14 2012 at 20:18
The government has reintroduced motor vehicle road licenses as it seeks curb cases of double registration and car thefts.
Vehicle owners will now be required to apply for an annual license, which unlike previous times, will be provided at no cost.
The government abolished the requirement over three years ago and instead converting the amount motorists were paying to fuel levy charge.
Finance minister Njeru Githae said scrapping of the rule has resulted in challenges of establishing the number of vehicles on the roads at any one time, their registration details and ownership identification.
“I expect the new measure to facilitate the law enforcement agencies to monitor and ensure only vehicles that are legitimately owned by the owners are allowed on the road at any one time,” Mr Githae.
In August last year, the government developed an automated system to verify the authenticity of transport vehicle licences in attempt to put the brakes on cartels thriving from the sale of counterfeits.
The automated system, available via text messages, would then provide a feedback on the status of the licence, based on the official records at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Over the years, authorities have been grappling with the problem of transit vehicles destined for Uganda and Tanzania — where the law permits the import of vehicles older than eight years— being dumped in Kenya.
The transit crime has also been associated with the growing problem of double registration of vehicles. This involves duplicating the registration documents of an existing look-alike vehicle.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of saloon and station wagon cars registered dropped to 42,225 in 2011 from 53,703 in 2010.