By JOHN KOMBE
The position that the Road Transport and safety Agency (RTSA) has taken to impound all App-using unregistered taxis without any consideration is unthinkable in an era where innovative technologies that respond to existing needs are supposed to be encouraged, Social Economic and Environmental Project (SEES) executive director, Moses Lungu has said.
Rev. Lungu made the observation in an interview. He was saddened that the innovative idea by the App designers was not appreciated by an entity that itself thrives on technology. He was commenting on the RTSA’s decision to stop Ulendo, Yango, ZamCabs cars and other unregistered taxis until the cars using App are registered as taxis.
He argued that in the same way that the traffic police did not cry foul when RTSA was formed, the agency must also embrace this technological change. He said that ordinarily the traffic police would be enough to manage the road transport and safety affairs, but RTSA is there because of the technologies that it brings to the sector.
Rev Lungu wondered why the agency cannot engage the App-designers to appreciate the innovative undertaking. He said that banning this idea would be catastrophic to the many people who were benefiting from it. He insisted that the idea cannot just be shot down because a section of society has complained.
Rev. Lungu said that Zambia cannot develop with traditional and old ideas and as such innovation and creativity must be nurtured and not stifled. He was happy that the Ulendo, Yango and ZamCabs cars had brought competition in the transport sector and the old businesses only needed to up their game to stay in business. He said that monopoly had no place in a liberal economy and as such the government agencies must not listen to competitors, but carry out their own findings on what benefits the innovation was bringing to the wider society.
The NGO leader therefore advised all those opposing the idea to critically think about the benefits that it has brought to both commuters and car owners. He stressed that the country needs to applaud the idea and only guide on the legalities such as paying taxes.
By JOHN KOMBE