The Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Vehicle Inspection Department are conducting a joint operation targeting unregistered and unroadworthy vehicles on the roads in and around Harare. The operation comes after Government announced that importers of vehicles who have been unable to register them owing to the shortage of number plates should obtain Temporary Identification Cards (TICs) for indefinite use as it works on addressing the matter.
TICs normally have a 14-day lifespan. Government said law enforcement officers will be out in full force to ensure that motorists comply with the orders. This has prompted the ZRP and the VID to conduct the joint operation.
The Herald witnessed some of the officers manning roadblocks in most parts of the roads stopping vehicles, especially the unregistered and unroadworthy ones. Once suspected of being unroadworthy, the vehicles are impounded for further checks.
A VID official who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Yes, we are conducting an operation targeting unregistered and unroadworthy vehicles. We are continuing with the blitz until there is sanity on our roads.”
On Tuesday, ZRP said they will not hesitate to impound all vehicles that did not display registration number plates or TICs countrywide.
The crackdown on unregistered vehicles comes in the wake of a spate of armed robberies as criminals are using such vehicles to evade arrest. Some of them were involved in accidents after which the drivers sped off.
In an interview, chief police spokesperson Commissioner Charity Charamba said unregistered vehicles were a cause for concern, especially when they were used to commit crime.
“Most criminals use such types of vehicles and it is sometimes difficult to trace them,” she said. “Some of them are even involved in accidents and then speed off. All unregistered vehicles will be impounded and motorists should make sure that they abide by the law.”
In a statement on Monday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza announced that: “Any newly imported vehicles may not be driven on our public roads until and unless they have some form of acceptable and displayed identification documents such as Temporary Identification Cards (TICs).
“The validity period of Temporary Identification Cards has with immediate effect, and in consultation with the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, been relaxed to run for an indefinite period from the date of issue, and until further notice from the statutory standard 14 days.”
Minister Matiza said to prevent abuse of the liberalised use of the TICs, affected motorists must always carry vehicles’ importation documents.
These documents include the Customs Clearance Certificate, Bill of Entry documents, as well as the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisations (SARPCCO) certificate in the case of vehicles imported into the country from within the Sadc region.