Empower VID to curb road carnage, Govt told

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Chairman Dexter Nduna (left) and Member of Parliament for Highfield West Cde Psychology Maziwisa (near right) chat with one of the illegal pirate taxi drivers during the familiarisation tour of private vehicles used as public transport in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Chairman Dexter Nduna (left) and Member of Parliament for Highfield West Cde Psychology Maziwisa (near right) chat with one of the illegal pirate taxi drivers during the familiarisation tour of private vehicles used as public transport in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Government should commercialise the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and enable it to inspect private vehicles as part of efforts to curb road carnage emanating from the prevalence of illegal taxi operators commonly known as mushikashika, legislators have said. Members of Parliament said private vehicles should be levied a fixed annual fee by VID so that it could inspect them for fitness so as to minimise accidents as some of them were caused by illegal operators.

Some of the vehicles, the MPs said, were not roadworthy.

This came out when members of the portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development chaired by Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) conducted a familiarisation field visit of Simon Vengai Muzenda Street in Harare yesterday to make an assessment of illegal taxi operators commonly known as mushikashika.

“What is needed as a first step, is to commercialise VID. Once that is done, there should be a law that compels VID to inspect vehicles with black and yellow number plates (private vehicles.) It is a common secret that some private vehicles carry passengers, then of course, there are those that do mushikashika. If they are not inspected, they pose a danger to unsuspecting and innocent people,” said Cde Nduna.

He said at the moment, inspection of vehicles by VID is mainly done on public service vehicles yet private vehicles also carried passengers and contributed to road carnage in the country.

Cde Nduna said from their interaction with illegal operators yesterday, they were agreeable to subject themselves to VID inspection and what remained was the necessary framework.

“We will prepare a report as a committee and table it before Parliament for debate. We also expect the responsible ministry to respond to these issues because we want road carnages to be minimised,” said Cde Nduna.

He said there was need to address duplication of some roles between VID and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration. “There are some fees that are collected by VID, like overloading, fitness and it is done on behalf of Zinara. For all the funds that are handled, there is an expense,” he said.

Chikanga-Dangamvura MP Cde Esau Mupfumi (Zanu-PF) said local authorities had a lot of work to do to de-congest the city. “Harare City Council should renovate Mbare Musika as part of efforts to decongest the city. Most public service vehicles are now using illegal pick-up points because Mbare Musika can no longer contain the huge influx of vehicles,” said Cde Mupfumi.

Highfield East MP Mr Eric Murai (MDC-T) said there was need to bring together all Government departments dealing with transport management under one roof so that they could brainstorm some of the challenges.

“There is need to bring to an end the illegal taxi operators. This calls for the need to bring all Government departments together to discuss these issues. Some of the Government departments include, the police, VID, Zinara, local authority, Central Vehicle Registry, Road Motor Transport among others,” said Mr Murai.

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  • kutototo

    Just levy them and get money is the strategy from dunderheads we elected as MPs all they think of is ways in which the citizen is hard hit in the pocket.

  • Concerned

    Why punish those who are not pirating ? Are we then saying once you have paid you inspection levy you become entitled to pirate ? Stffer fines should be imposed for the illegal practice drivers to have their licenses revoked,

  • chirandu wekuzaka

    point noted , hoping that a certain measure is also taken to improve Harare Beitbridge road ,its now a nightmare to drive along that road be it during the day or night

  • Hleki

    Parliament is sick now. You want to raise money from poor people who are already struggling to make ends meet. This is a sinister regulation. Don’t just make laws for the sake of laws. You don’t only enact laws but you also protect the public.Police and VID competing in taking money from motorists. Madhaka ayo

  • Loud Speaker

    That is a bit of a red herring vren. So how come the vast majority of vehicles despite the bad roads are in fact roadworthy?

  • Ziyabheda

    “Honorable” members,please allow private players to fix the roads first,and the money that you intend to rob the private vehicle owners would be put to better use repaying these players who would have fixed our roads. We should learn from China and put our resources into productive activities. As long as our urban and rural roads remain what they are,V.I.D will continue to milk the public through these un-road worthy vehicle defects fees when the truth is that the roads are the ones which are un-vehicle worthy as they contribute 99.9% to vehicle defects.As for the mushikashika staff,collect licence fees from them. These fees will help local authorities manage these operations better. .

  • tamuka harry

    As always oir government and this Nduna guy wants to deal with the effects not the cause. The very reason why people are using their vehicles to carry people is because they have no sources of income and are unemployed. You want to introduce another levy again on already toiling motorist. Yaatomhosva kuva nemota muno mu zimbabwe.

  • godfrey

    Hapana zvevadare apa. Nanga nanga nemasymptoms epoverty, tsve-e kutsvaga mazano anoita kuti hurombo hupere? Chii chinoita kuti vanhu varambe vakabatirira tumota twapera? Chii chinoita kuti vanhu vakwire zvichovha mubaiwa? Zvii zvingaitwa kuti mota dzinofamba mumugwagwa medu dzinge dziine makore asingapfuure mashanu kana mashoma akangodaro? Kwete by banning them but through real economic empowerment inoita kuti vanhu vakwanise kurarama hupenyu huri nani. Zvino maMP vagarika nemhaka yemota nyowani dzatinovatengera havachadi kuona varombo vanofamba netumota twawo twaperapera.

    Nada! Povo yaramba!

  • Loud Speaker

    Why this regressive mentality of ban/get rid/destroy? By all means let’s all abide by the rules.That’s is what we should focus upon and endeavour to collectively achieve.

  • shiku

    VID has always been the most corrupt organisation in the country even when the economy was good. I doubt if empowering them will improve anything. They just need to introduce financial penalties to fault drivers and get them to compensate the victims. Also careless pedestrians should be given tickets. In Europe drivers know that they cannot be reckless and careless because there is a heavy price to pay. The responsibility is placed on the operator of dangerous machine. In Zimbabwe i think pedestrians need to be kept in check too if they are careless.

  • Madara

    no its not that. the stop randomly just anywhere on the road to unload and load passengers. they drive on the wrong side of the road. they go down slip roads the wrong way. if you have a lot of them they would all go through a red light all in a row for the duration of the whole red light.
    they have unroadworthy cars… they all start doing uturns when they see a police presence.
    driving into oncoming traffic just to get ahead of a queue waiting at a traffic light and forcing other vehicles off the road and/or to miss their turn to go.
    they over load their vehicles. most of them dont use indicators and have broken tail and head lights therefore being hard to spot in the dark. and if they do have a head light working they will put on their high beams and not respond to prompts to lower them thus blinding all oncoming traffic. the solution is of course not to get rid of them. people rely on them as there is no other form of public transport. but they need to follow the rules of the road and have some respect for other road users.

  • makinase

    VID is the most expensive and corrupt part of the road system. They want bribes as high as $60 to avoid them from impounding a car with fault handbrake. Go on the ground before making unfounded suggestion. Police and VID inspect the same things on a car. duplication of work and that translate to the huge wage bill. Idiot ZANU matoto