THE Parliamentary Transport Committee on Wednesday recommended that errant driving schools be de-registered as most of the corruption in obtaining licences by unqualified drivers emanated from them.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
This was said by the chairperson of the Transport Committee Christopher Chitindi in the National Assembly when he presented the report of the committee on the operations of the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR).
“The committee noted that a lot of revenue is lost through bribes and that obsolete equipment was affecting the operation of the CVR,” Chitindi said.
“The committee also noted that corruption in obtaining licenses emanates from driving schools and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe should deregister driving schools or instructors caught on the wrong side of the law,” he said.
During gathering of evidence by the committee when they were doing investigations on VID and CVR operations, they discovered that from 2013 to 2018 around 62 officers were caught on the wrong side of the law.
“These were caught issuing learner’s licences to failed applicants and issuing certificates of fitness to non-roadworthy vehicles. These officers were caught using VID internal control systems because members of the public have not been reporting cases of being asked for bribes. The chief vehicle inspector pointed out that the issue of corruption is complicated, but VID has tried to put in place systems to minimise corruption,” the committee report said.
VID officers were also said to be given targets such that one officer can bring between $10 000 to $15 000 per month to the organisation when their salary is as low as $400 per month.
“This is where some of the corruption may be coming from. VID also checked with other institutions in Sadc and noticed that they also had that challenge before they moved into the route of commercialisation. Then when they commercialised, they upped the salaries of their employees to match the income that they were generating and there were no longer misdemeanours on corruption in those Sadc countries that have gone that route,” the committee said.
The committee reported that CVR needed $85 000 to procure equipment, but the problem was that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was not considering it as a priority to allocate foreign currency to them.
“The other challenge that CVR encountered was to do with corruption emanating from the issue of the backlog. He mentioned that once there is a queue, then chances are that the client would want to be served quickly and is likely to start to induce the officer who is supposed to process to be assisted to jump the queue,” the report said.
The transport committee recommended computerisation of the CVR and VID to improve efficiency and reduce corruption by December 2018.