By Steven Candia
ALL motorists crossing into another country in their private vehicles may soon have to acquire a certificate of clearance if plans by police in the Eastern Africa region come to fruition.
The move expected to come into effect in May, if endorsed, is expected to stem the disturbing and rampant cases of motor vehicle thefts in the region.
Though first mooted in 2004 at the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO), a body that brings together 12 member states, the police now want to operationalize it.
Speaking at the opening of the organs of meeting of EAPCCO, police boss Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura hailed the plans to establish the EAPCCO motor vehicles clearance certificate, saying it is necessary. "It will help reduce cases of motor vehicle thefts," Kayihura said at the Silver Springs Hotel.
Criminal investigations directorate (CID) bosses from the member states are attending the meeting, preceded by the meeting of the legal, planning and training and gender sub committees which form the organs of EAPCCO.
The meeting is organized by the Interpol sub regional bureau office in Nairobi is aimed at combating transnational and cross border crimes.
At the same function Kayihura lamented about the slow implementation of resolutions and called for eradication of legal impediments due to non-harmonization of laws among member states, which he said plays to the advantage of criminals.
The Interpol sub regional bureau Chief Francis Rwego called for greater cooperation among member states, urging them to domesticate resolutions.
The outcome of the sub-committees will then feed into the Permanent Coordinating Committee (PCC), a body of regional CID bosses, which among others coordinates regional cooperation and the implementation of all EAPCCO resolutions.
The PCC reports to the Council of Police Chiefs (CPC), the highest decision-making body that presides on all policy matters and oversees regional police co-operation as well as the proper functioning of all EAPCCO structures.
Central to the agenda will be issues of how to combat at regional level cross border crime such as terrorism, human and drug trafficking, theft motor vehicles, cybercrime, maritime piracy and environmental degradation.
The member states include Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, Seychelles, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. However, by yesterday Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea had not turned up.