Corruption and a poor work ethic by some officials at the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) in Harare have been cited following motorists’ failure to acquire number plates since last year.
Although there was adequate stock there have been long queues of motorists outside the building for the past three days.
While a great deal was done to prevent institutional corruption, some individual officers are now under investigation and those found involved in such activities will be dealt with in terms of the law.
On the other hand, members of the public who want to buy number plates have been urged to deal directly with CVR officials and have been reminded that there are no outsiders who can push them up the queue.
Even the CVR agents at Zimpost and Zimra have to follow the rules, and all new vehicles or those just imported have to be registered at the CVR itself.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona toured the CVR offices in Harare yesterday, to see what was happening and why there were delays.
The minister heard concerns from motorists with some of them alleging that they have been coming to CVR since last year after applying for their number plates and had not yet acquired them as they were being given excuses by some of the officials.
Minister Mhona however ordered the officials to ensure that all those that had submitted their documents for the number plates should by this week have their number plates with them since there were no excuses.
“Today (yesterday) I visited the CVR offices to understand why people are failing to get number plates on time. As the Second Republic we are saying we have enough plates in stock and no one should pay extra money to get them.
“I am concerned that some motorists who applied for number plates last year are yet to receive them, but some who applied recently already have the number plates. We are going to decisively deal with this issue,” he said.
He said President Mnangagwa, as a listening President, had tasked him to look into all these challenges and address them for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.
“The other main purpose of the tour today was to find out what is the process flow, why are we having delays and what are the challenges but above all I want to actually thank His Excellency Cde Mnangagwa, the listening President.
“He said here are the concerns, address those concerns with speed and what we are doing here is to find out why are we having these queues, why are we having people saying we don’t have number plates after all you have witnessed yourselves that we have got abundant number plates that are not collected and others are submitting papers and not being actioned.
“But it calls again for the work ethic at this institution which has to change. We are saying there is no need to continue taking documentation without delivering service and I am here to make sure that those who have submitted their papers must get the number plates. And there is no reason. What we have actually highlighted to the media as well, we got close to 10 000 number plates as we speak in various agencies and we are saying what is needed is to rearrange and redistribute those number plates,” Minister Mhona said.
He said he has instructed the CVR Registrar Mr Saston Muzenda, who recently took over, and his team to start collecting those number plates in areas where there are excesses and ensure that people can buy them.
He called upon the people to also assist Government in fighting corruption.
“We don’t want corrupt tendencies whereby you give your documentation to an agent who is not an employee of Government so that at the end of the day you are fleeced of your precious money. Let’s shun corrupt tendencies and the work ethic that has to start from today has to change and I will be frequenting this place so that there is order at the end of the day.
“We don’t want the people of Zimbabwe to continue losing their money because of corrupt tendencies. Corruption has no place in the Second Republic. We are going to clean the rot at CVR and bring a new work ethic at the institution. No one should struggle to acquire number plates.
Asked why there had been delays in the issuance of number plates, Minister Mhona said: “The number one problem here is corruption, that’s what I can say. I have been appealing to the people to say if you can point those who are doing this. But you know these are white collar crimes where they are two involved (the payer and the taker) and it takes two to tango.
“At the end of the day I was looking for those officials who are actually sending back motorists without their number plates but the number one problem is corruption and the work ethic which is quite poor. We are saying there is no reason because we have seen, one is just saying come next week and if you ask why? He says I have heard that there are no number plates but that’s not true, the number plates are there.
“So it calls for the issues to do with patriotism at the end of the day. Whenever you come to work, do your best so that we don’t inconvenience the people of Zimbabwe.”
The minister said he has mandated Mr Muzenda to also look into his team and those not performing to standard must not be at CVR offices while those who are corrupt should be dealt with.
Meanwhile, police have urged the public to co-operate with the police officers carrying out the current operation against unlicensed, uninsured, unregistered motor vehicles and non-complying public service vehicles.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said on Monday police arrested another 1 688 motorists under the operation and this brings the total arrests to 3 926 in just three days.