Rwanda: Police to Investigate Glitches in Its Movement Clearance System

20 January 2021

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) has promised to look into the challenges that some people are facing when using its movement clearance system.

Introduced last year, the online platform is used by police to receive requests from people in need of essential services, so that they can be allowed to make movements during times of restrictions related to Covid-19.

Since the government introduced inter-district travel restrictions, the platform has been handling a number of requests.

The number of users went even higher when Kigali was placed on lockdown on Monday, January 18.

According to information from the RNP, on Tuesday, January 19, the number of requests submitted to the movement clearance system 11,928.

Of these, 9,359 were approved, while 2,569 were rejected.

Though the system has been working well, assisting many intending travellers during the lockdown-there have reportedly been a few complaints from some people who reported some glitches while using it.

"The timing it gave me was 6PM to 8PM, and that is curfew time. Why is the system allowing me to move during curfew time?" complained one resident of Kigali who had applied for permission through the system.

Some others cited issues related to delay in the response to their requests to allow them move in the time they had requested.

"I asked for permission to travel at 10 AM, but the time has reached before I even got response from them," said another.

In response to such, John Bosco Kabera, the RNP Spokesperson, told The New Times during an exclusive interview that the system has been performing well, handling thousands of permissions. He promised to investigate the glitches that the citizens reported to have experienced,

"We receive several thousands of requests. We approve thousands of them and reject some thousands as well which are not valid. I may not guarantee that there won't be challenges and complaints, but we just promise to look through every complaint," he said.

Established on the government's official website, the movement clearance platform assists people in need of essential services like visiting hospitals, attending to emergencies, among some others like shopping, or banking.

The platform requires the applicants to feed in their personal details including names, national ID number, telephone number; details of the journey (for example destination), reason for movement, and the type of transport that will be used.

After submitting the required details, the applicant is required to wait for response in form of an SMS notification from Police for approved or rejected movement.

This can take about five minutes, though a few people have reported delays.

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