Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Government has hailed the electronic traffic monitoring system being developed by the police in partnership with Univern Enterprises, saying that it will help reduce corruption and foster compliance by motorists. Once operational, roadblocks will be under 24-hour surveillance with real-time images beamed to a central server.
The system will enable motorists to pay fines for traffic offences using plastic money like bank cards and mobile money transfer systems.
Those who do not have cash on the spot will be ticketed and pay later or when they license their vehicles.
Speaking to journalists after touring Univern Enterprises to have an appreciation of its high tech software system in Harare yesterday, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said the new electronic traffic system was the panacea to the alleged corruption on the roads and would help to increase revenue collection.
“I am thoroughly impressed with what I have seen,” said Minister Mushohwe.
“This is my first time here. I am aware that companies like Zinara, our transport department there, is working with them here.
“What has impressed me more is that they are working with the police. They are introducing the kind of technology that we would want to see on our roads,” he said.
“You know that there has been an outcry in this country that perhaps all is not well on the roads and that tourists are not happy to come back to Zimbabwe. With this kind of technology that I have been shown here that will go on to our roads I think it is going make a lot of improvements,” he said.
“It is going to take away the perception that there is rampant corruption on the roads because this is no longer going to be manual. Even people who do not have cash, who have got cards can swipe on the roads and if your money is in the phone you can still make a payment.”
Minister Mushohwe said it was important for Government to computerise all its operations to make life easier for citizens and to move along with latest technological developments.
He said Government was also encouraging the use of plastic money given the current cash shortages.
“As Government we are encouraging that we must have plastic money because of the situation that we have here,” he said.
“More and more of our people are adopting plastic money, but it was very difficult at a roadblock if you are asked to pay a fine you could not use your card and you could not swipe.
“Now that it will be possible I think it will go a long way not only in eliminating perceived corruption, but also in enhancing the collection of revenue. What I have been shown here suggests that they will be able to send to the police at the end of the day what has been collected on this particular road or at that tollgate,” said the minister.
“This is a good example of what should happen not only in Government but even in the private sector because there is no way you can today think of executing your function manually. It is no longer possible.
“You have to understand where we are today in terms of technology and that it is absolutely important that every Government department makes sure that things are no longer done manually.”
He added: “This is why in Zimbabwe Government is insisting that although we are used to having some little money in the pockets and be proud to pull it out and let people know that you have money, you must have plastic money, so that you do not have to attract muggers who have to follow you.
“Technology is important. That is why I am saying the kind of technology that is being exhibited here must be spread all over.”
Univern Enterprises chief operations officer Ms Norma Ndove said her organisation creates customised software solutions.
“The crux of what we do is software development. We create customised software solutions for most Government departments.
“We work with various Government departments that you come across within your everyday life,” said Ms Ndove.