Committee probes VID corruption In an interview, Minister Mhona said Government’s immediate task was to complete pending projects including the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway.

Victor Maphosa-Mashonaland East Bureau

A committee has been set up by Government to investigate allegations of corruption at the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) over decades-long accusations that drivers’ licences are being corruptly issued.

Statistically, it is reported that Zimbabwe experiences a traffic collision every 15 minutes, an average of 38 people are injured per day, and on average five deaths are recorded per day and the Government is now taking stern measures aimed at saving lives from road traffic accidents.

In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Minister Joshua Sacco during the World Remembrance Day of Victims of Road Traffic Accidents held in Chivhu, Mashonaland East on Friday last week, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said the Government was determined to get to the bottom of the alleged rot at VID.

“Some have raised concerns on possible corruption at VID in issuance of driver’s licences,” he said. 

“May it be known to all that in line with the zero tolerance to corruption policy clearly pronounced by our President, Dr ED Mnangagwa, I have set up a committee to investigate any such malpractices. 

“I urge Zimbabweans to make representations to the committee and provide necessary details to enable me to get to the bottom of the problem, and deal decisively with it.

“It is disturbing to note that this year alone up to September 30, already some 38 482 crashes have been witnessed on our roads resulting in 1 545 fatalities, and leaving some 7 294 people injured.” 

“This is despite all efforts by Government and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to raise awareness and enforce compliance to the road users. 

“In this regard, as we amend the Traffic Safety Council Act to transform it into a Traffic Safety Agency, a key aspect of that legislative review will be to acknowledge the need for increased reliance on technology to enforce road regulations. 

“Further, noting that even under the best scenario, we may still witness some road crashes, Government has decided to set up a Road Accident Fund. In this respect, as a Ministry, we are committed to ensure the operationalisation of the Road Accident Fund within the first half of the year. 

“Officials working on this assignment are, therefore, guided to ensure that this target is not missed, and the Deputy Minister and I will be calling for monthly meetings to be updated on progress, and not on problems or reasons for delays.” 

On enforcing speed limits on public service vehicles, Minister Mhona said by early next year, all operators should by then finished installing relevant devices or gadgets permitting such enforcement.

“My Ministry is concerned at the level of speeding witnessed on our roads resulting in some cases, in fatal road crashes,” he said. “Of particular concern is the fact that the racing on our roads is now being practiced even by public service vehicles including buses, and kombis. In response, Government this year promulgated SI 119 0f 2023 on speed limiting devices.

“As Zimbabweans will appreciate, the implementation of SI 119 of 2023 taking effect beginning of 2024, there will be no excuses for non-compliance as adequate time has been given for operators to fit the relevant gadgets. I, therefore, urge all P.S.V operators and drivers to take heed and prepare accordingly.”

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