500 000 vehicles unroadworthy: Mpofu

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu greets Road Safety ambassadors Pastor Charles Charamba and football legend George Shaya at the commemoration of the 2007 Dzivarasekwa railway accident in Harare yesterday

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu greets Road Safety ambassadors Pastor Charles Charamba and football legend George Shaya at the commemoration of the 2007 Dzivarasekwa railway accident in Harare yesterday

Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
MORE than 500 000 vehicles countrywide are unroadworthy, while the same number of drivers are not licenced, a situation that has resulted in fatal road carnages, a Cabinet minister has said. Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Obert Mpofu said Vehicle Inspection Department officials would continue mounting roadblocks in conjunction with the police to make sure that all unroadworthy vehicles were impounded to bring sanity on the roads.
He was speaking at the commemoration of the 35 Dzivarasekwa accident victims, most of them vegetable vendors who died on March 7, 2007 on their way to Mbare Musika,  after a commuter omnibus they were travelling in was hit by a train at a railway crossing.

“According to our assessment, over 500 000 vehicles are not road worthy thereby exposing other motorists to danger, leading to loss of lives,” he said.

“As a Ministry, we are liaising with other stakeholders to ensure that we come up with a legislation that will put an end to the carnage on our roads. We want discipline on our roads, therefore motorists should adhere to required traffic safety rules.

“We are looking into it, we are actually coming up with measures that will make it very difficult for those drivers who misbehave on our roads and we are serious and this is going to be very soon. The Government is not going to fold hands whilst the unwarranted wanton distraction of lives carries on.”

Minister Mpofu said that penalties which were being passed by the courts on negligent drivers were not deterrent enough.

He said road traffic deaths and injuries were to a greater extent preventable if all road users exercised due care.

“The ministry has started taking corrective action to stabilise and reverse the accident trend by coming up with a strategic plan on road safety in order to achieve measurable national targets,” said Minister Mpofu.

“The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, with legal backing, and to which Government is striving to provide adequate and sustainable financial and material resources, will ensure the achievement of the target.”

Minister Mpofu said his Ministry identified all the black spots in the country and corrective action was being taken on some of them.

He said on the Nyamaropa-Nyanga Road, the black spot at which 89 lives of pupils from Regina Coeli Mission were lost in 1991 has been corrected by putting rubble strips and improving the sign-age. In an interview Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe managing director Mr Obio Chinyere urged motorists to be cautious on the roads, especially this festive season.

One of the Dzivarasekwa accident survivors, Ms Neria Chandaita who sustained a fractured leg said life has never been the same after the accident.

Ms Chandaita said that she used to depend on vegetable vending, but now it was difficult for her since she could not walk properly due to the injuries.

An unemployed Ms Loveness Mubawu who lost her husband in the accident said she was struggling to make ends meet since she was left with six children.

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  • bhinikwa

    As long as you do nothing about corruption in ploice & vid…………….you are wasting time

  • Tongoona

    Once 500 000 vehicles are taken off the road, won’t that reduce the income base for all those toll-gates, urban and otherwise, and less opportunity for bribes to the Traffic Police? The corrupt cops won’t be pleased with prospects of an eventual reduced income.

    • reality check

      so you prefer the loss of life?

      • Londisizwe

        Can’t you recognise sarcasm to Mpofu’s proposals? We all know that corrupt Ministries and Police will fight to retain their unofficial revenues.

    • harare

      the issue of the accidents is not being taken seriously .from my own assession the major causes 1) attitude of drivers ie lack of patience, lack of respect for each other as we are driving everyone wants to be number one, non enforcement of traffic laws by police ,poor state of our roads ,poor quality imported spares and tyres . overloading . the misnister should just drive a raum one day observing this things in harare

  • Kashaka

    The 500 000 unlicensed drivers and 500 000 road unworthy vehicles are a direct result of massive CORRUPTION in the VID and POLICE!! Many of these unlicensed drivers could have been licensed were it not for the huge amounts of money the corrupt VID guys demand. Many of these vehicles could have been made road worthy if the relevant departments were not willing to accept bribes from the owners in order to process the papers. So Cde Minister start dealing with these departments before terrorizing the motorists, otherwise you’ll just make the problem bigger. Right now i can tell you that these guys are drooling with saliva hoping that you start harassing the motorists and hence increase the desperation which will lead to higher bribes!!

  • nyams t

    Zimbabwe is a very small country with manageable both population and traffic, however, the ball is in the hands of our legislators to come up with binding and progressive laws. These people must operate outside the box and borrow and adopt models and principles being used by progressive countries like China even across Limpopo.

  • Alarmist minister

    This number is clearly alarmist and false. The minister only got into office yesterday and has not yet counted up to 100 000. When did VID carryout the vehicle check to come up with that frightening number of unroadworth vehicles. The majority of people bought their vehicles from Japan so maybe he considers such vehicles as unroadworthy because he has Germany made cars. He just wants to justify the introduction of fitness tests for all vehicles to get a milk cow in his ministry having recently lost the diamond ministry.t

  • Musungwa Gava

    Hon Mpofu, the best legislation you can come up with is to maintain the roads, are you blind MR MPOFU? Mota dzinofa becoz maroads ashata and they are narrow. For the unlicensed drivers the numbers are shocking, while police maintain their presence on the road everyday vanenge vachiitei? Ndoteam inofanirwa kusungwa yoita community service kugadzira mapotholes, kucheka uswa so that the road environment becomes safe. Mr Mpofu itai wese abatwa asina license muroad ngaende kuroad maintenance community service.Cheap and effective labor, this alone is a deterrent approach to potential lawbreakers.

  • babylon 5

    ngonjo razoita mari manje

  • kutototo

    How do you expect cars to be roadworthy when the roads are so bad, with potholes everywhere and the rains upon us the cars will be definitely end up with defects, do something about the roads its not good to be one sided, motorists are paying to have their cars on the roads but are being short changed.

  • Nays

    What VID should do is to impound the unroadworthy vehicles, take them to a yard. If anyone wants his/her vehicle released, he should first employ a VID mechanic to bring the vehicle into shape. The owner should pay for a roadworthy test that is done by the VID. Once satisfied, the owner should then pay a release fee. This will go a long way in reducing road accidents. Those who dont have licenses should be imprisoned. The influx of the japanese cars means that there are increased risks of accidents on our roads and to reduce this, drivers need to be properly licensed.

    • Musharukwa

      Those who don’t have accidents should be imprisoned ???? you expressed yourself worse than Chinotimba!!!! kikikikiki

      • Nays

        it was an error. Should be licenses. If you are a reading person or LEARNED, you should have noted that. It seems as if you are a bit dull or maybe uri TEACHER. Haisi problem yako, Good jobs are hard to come by these days.

  • Chiratidzo Zuze

    Atanga Obert kungoropodza zvisina maturo. Seriously, I wonder what the President sees in him, shame,shame.

  • Ndizvo

    Instead it’s the ZRP which is unroadworthy, not the vehicles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jotham

    That figure is shocking. The Ministry and the VID together with the police should come up with minimum standards for any vehicle to be accepted on the roads.

    • jaz

      Those are thump such figure. The state of the roads is the biggest killer on the roads and yet we go round in circles missing the real problem. Would you have a headon in a dual separated lanes.

  • JZ

    the words from Cde Mpofu are encouraging, the minister is aware of the issues at hand. 500 000 unroadworthy vehicles reflect the economic well being of vehicles owners, that vehicles are still on the road reflects the attitude of drivers and the public towards traffic law. Change will come through giving a chance to drivers who want to learn to be responsible drivers while fishing out those who actually oppose or skirt traffic safety measures. We also need to map out the statistics of road accidents to create an accident map than can be used by traffic police to focus resources on those sections of the highway that are more hazardous. It will also help to put signals on hazardous zones so all drivers are forced to exercise extreme caution on those sections of the highway.

  • JZ

    With technology like toll gates and vehicle registration identification and tablets, one day we should be able to know whose vehicle is on the road and get a general profile of each driver’s habits. Techology. behaviour change and better infrastructure are the long term value for money and life investments we need to incorporate in our transport policy.

  • Nyandoro

    AnaObert waakushaya mari yawaiitaka kumaDiamonds, waakutaura zvisina basa. Dai wati 500 000 police unroad worthy wataura zvinemusoro.

  • jaku

    Muri kuti you improved signage on the Nyanga -Nyamaropa road! The people who do not have licences cannot understand these signs.The majority without licences are either police officers(I have names) or people connected to the ruling party. There is a ZANU PF party vehicle here in marondera which still has old plates indicating that it is not properly licenced.I have reason to believe that there are some party bigwigs who are not paying anything to ZINARA yet they want to bring sanity to our roads.

  • temba

    A football legend, a musician cum pastor, a politician. Just by looking at them, you can tell which career can look after your bum!

  • Road

    The number is well exaggerated. The problem is the roads and the government systems not unroadworthy vehicles. Do you know that motor vehicle owners pay the government more than six times in Zimbabwe more expensive than in Japan, Britain, China… where they manufacture their own. A car in Japan i.e. common Toyota Corolla costs between $250 to $500. Shipping expenses about $1,300.00. The fun thing is the government duty exceeding the buying and shipping prices to be around $1,800.00 including agents costs but the roads are the worst in the world. After all these amounts taken by the government you will pay insurance from Zimra offices, motor license, t/gate, (if its a bus) permit, VID, you pay Zimra again, passenger insurance finally police on the roads and they are expecting people to drive good cars. That’s to much milking a dead cow. What we are expecting is good roads which are competitive to the modern world.

  • Mann

    Mr. minister you have got a lot of cash, why cant you give back to the people by repairing a portion of our old roads constructed more than fifty years ago. Vehicles are not the problems but your unearthly policies.

  • Dido

    Was in Zim in August with my GL63, jus to bring tears to my self. Hamuna road muzimbabwe varume weee mugwagwa pls

  • Kamuzubanda

    (1)Unless standard of living/wages for all is addressed to the level they should be ” OF WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO SO RIGHT AWAY” nothing is going to change. Today MONEY TALKS (CORRUPTION ) IS THE BOSSES OF ALL BOSSES it out weighs your aurothrity to ZERO. What you can can do , which is achievable is to get all the ROADS AND SIGNAGE back to what they should be. Wish you all the best.

  • karen

    Take the opportunity to apprentice mechanics and put them all in working order, as well as a few tool and dye makers to make frequently used spares, for this area of transport.