Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations Editor
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday engaged the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) to inquire into corruption allegations and delays in the issuance of number plates and driver’s licences.
Reacting to a public outcry, pointing to corruption and inefficiencies at CVR, the ZACC Compliance and Systems Review team conducted a rapid spot check on whether CVR was complying with set procedures.
In a statement, ZACC said the outcome of the exercise will be announced in due course.
“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ZACC) Compliance and Systems Review Department conducted a rapid spot check at the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) on 20 January 2022.
“The exercise is in response to a public outcry about alleged corrupt practices and inefficiencies by the department. This includes, among other things, unjustified delays in the issuance of vehicle number plates, licence discs and replacement of lost driver’s licences.
“The commission will be regularly updating the Zimbabwean citizens on the outcomes of the exercise,” reads the statement.
The exercise came at a time when the Zimbabwe Republic Police had just launched a nationwide blitz to impound all unregistered and unlicensed vehicles, some of which are suspected to be used in criminal activities.
The Herald understands there is a huge backlog in both the issuance of driving licence discs and vehicle number plates dating back to 2018.
Corruption and a poor work ethic by some officials at CVR in Harare have been cited following motorists’ failure to acquire number plates since last year.
Recently Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona toured CVR head office in Harare to assess the situation and establish the source of the 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.
“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 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.
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.
Minister Mhona added: “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.