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Minister Mhona must respect us and stop being too clever by a half

HourlyHits Editorial

A RECENTLY launched police blitzkrieg against unregistered and unlicensed motor vehicles has brought to fore the menacing levels of Government corruption that ordinary citizens have to deal with on a daily basis.

With police effectively shutting down major arterial roads into main cities impounding unregistered vehicles, some motorists rushed to the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) offices to regularise their vehicle registrations. There, they met with the usual rot witnessed wherever Government is expected to provide a critical service.

It’s been months since Government announced that there were enough number plates and motorists could get them at the official prices without any hassles. But CVR officials, just like their cousins at VID Driver’s Licensing Unit or the Passport Office, create an artificial shortage just so they can milk the crisis for all It’s worth.

As if that was not enough, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona held a press briefing to announce he was shocked by the level of corruption at CVR and that he would visit their offices to clean the rot.

THE FRUITS OF CORRUPTION: Mhona faces dejected motorists outside CVR offices in Harare.

Mhona is quite and affable fella but he should stop taking Zimbabweans for fools. The rot at CVR did not start yesterday, neither will it end tomorrow now that Mhona has visited them.

He knew from the day he took over the Ministry a year ago what he was walking into, but he sat on the rot all these months only to drag pliant State media journalists for a photo shoot at CVR, claiming he’s fighting corruption.

Mhona has been in Zimbabwe long enough to know that the racket at CVR has been getting filthy rich from overcharging the number plates for years. The fact that he’s jolted into action by crowds of unhappy motorists swarming CVR offices shows the type of leader he is: disconnected from reality.

But that is not surprising, considering that this is the same Minister who is looking the other way while corruption spreads roots at VID. Mhona is also the very same Minister who promised many months ago to ensure that plates were manufactured locally “very soon”.

Most Zimbabweans have been beaten into shock by these lies and now all just pray that they get vehicle plates at official prices and without having to part with an arm and a leg, even if the plates are being imported from Mars.

The plates are atrociously overpriced anyway but that’s fine with us!

We were not surprised when he came out of the CVR outpost huffing and puffing about how corrupt the department was, but mentioning no names yet he was right at the city’s corruption hotspot. When a Minister merely complains like the rest of us instead of solving our problems, to hell with that half-clever Minister!

Mhona’s stunts and crocodile tears in front of newspaper and TV cameras might have fooled some but unless he acts against the corruption, we won’t let him pull any wool over our eyes.

Fair enough, he has been vocal about corruption at ZINARA and other Government agencies under his stewardship, but a genuine Minister worth all those allowances and perks need to do far more than harping on Twitter like the rest of us.

Mhona must leave grandstanding to armature politicians and focus on firing corrupt fatcats at CVR, ZINARA, VID and elsewhere who are milking the public.

We saw Kazembe Kazembe pulling the same grandstanding at the Passport Office months back, but to date the same place reeks of corruption as any other Government service delivery point.

It is Ministers like these who make it difficult for the public to trust Government’s sincerity in tackling graft head-on.

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