VID Eastlea depot to be re-purposed Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona (centre), Engineer Joy Makumbe (right) and Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) depot manager Onesimo Bumhira (left) tour the Eastlea depot in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Nicholas Bakili.

Freeman RazembaSenior Reporter 

THE Vehicle Inspection Department’s depot in Eastlea, Harare, for  long the home of testing for driver’s licences, will soon be turned into a training management centre to house the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and Road Motor Transportation.

Road and certificate of competency tests will be conducted at the Belvedere depot for light vehicles, and at a new site near Kuwadzana roundabout for buses and trucks. At this new site, a state-of-the art weighbridge will also be constructed.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of VID depots in Eastlea and Belvedere and the new site near Kuwadzana roundabout.

Speaking after the tour, Minister Mhona confirmed the developments.

“I am happy that today we are here in Kuwadzana area and others might be surprised that what is the ministry doing at this particular point in time. But I want to thank His Excellency Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa our visionary leader. As I always say, we have got a good leader who then gives us the trajectory of what we should pursue in terms of infrastructural development projects. 

“We started at Eastlea depot where we did our tour then we moved to Belvedere and finally we are here. We own this place as a ministry and we are talking of 3,3 hectares. It is virgin land where we are proposing to say we need to decongest. You know we have got CVR right in the city centre, we have got Eastlea VID again where its also congested in terms of operations. 

“The idea behind what we are doing as a Ministry is to think outside the box and see how we can buttress and also augment the financing modalities when it comes to Treasury. We want to use our own resources within the Ministry. 

“We have the Traffic Safety Council, we have Zinara, we have CMED. So we should talk of civil works. We have got CMED in place and if you talk of funding, we have Zinara. If you talk of safety concerns, we have Traffic Safety Council. So you will see us having one centre when it comes to transport solutions. 

“So we are going to be having a transport management centre housed at Eastlea VID. We are going to be relocating the tests that you have seen in terms of certificate of competency, in terms of the provisional tests, that were done in that particular depot.”

The need for a weigh bridge at the new depot by the Kuwadzana roundabout was because the ring road around Harare would pass by that point, making it the most suitable for the weigh bridge. 

The training centre at Belvedere could be upgraded with the private sector partnering the Ministry, the Minister said.

The Ministry was seeing how it could best use the existing infrastructure and facilities and where this was obsolete, to demolish and rebuild.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe, would also be having a state of the art Transport Management Centre housed at VID in terms of control when it came to monitoring traffic together with the police.

“So we will also have a base there at Eastlea where we will be monitoring the movement of traffic and also other services that are in tandem with Home Affairs,” Min Mhona said.

The Ministry was seeking Cabinet authority for the Road Accident Fund and if granted, it would be based at the same building in Eastlea.

CMED chairperson Dr Tammy Stevenson said: “We just want to thank His Excellency with his vision and the Ministry because we are housed under one roof and as CMED we want to service this land which is very bare. We have a construction company and we will play a part in building our nation and also showing our people that as the Ministry of Transport, we are working together for the benefit and development of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe board chairperson Mr Kurauone Sibanda welcomed the move and said the centre was going to address the challenges that people had been facing interms of moving from one building to the other looking for services.

“As you are aware that the Government of Zimbabwe has a policy called the National Development Strategy 1 that talks about taking the country forward for a better life, for a better living so that requires that our infrastructure is upgraded. So one of the things that we are doing as part of the Ministry of Transport is to build a modern Transport Management Centre where you find CVR is located there, where you would find VID, RMT and Traffic Safety Council.

“So instead of our people moving from one building to the other, in one centre they will be able to be assisted with whatever their needs in terms of transport services,” he said.

Zinara board chairperson Dr George Manyaya said: “This is very important especially in relation to the key aspirations of the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030. This is in line with global trends and we want to thank the shareholder for this strategy. But most importantly we want to assure the nation that Zinara will be able to fund this initiative.”

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