Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country's two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.
A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country's roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.
TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.
"Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles," pointed Dr Saqware.
With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.
According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.
Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country's total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.
To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.
TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or 'TIRA-MIS' which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.
According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.
Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.
Using the 'TIRA-MIS' portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link 'Validate Motor Insurance Sticker' or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective 'Motor Insurance Sticker Number.'
The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link 'mis.tira.go.tz' and following instructions.