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Corruption at CVR: ZACC steps in

THE corruption and poor work ethic at the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has drawn in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) who yesterday conducted “a rapid spot check” on procedures at CVR.

Although corruption allegations and delays in the issuance of number plates and driver’s licences have been a permanent feature in discussions on CVR, the matter took centre stage this week after police launched a blitz against unregistered and unlicensed motor vehicles.

Motorists complained bitterly that while they paid for number plates last year, they were yet to receive them while those who bribed CVR officials have long been served.

Reacting to a public outcry, the ZACC dispatched a Compliance and Systems Review team which yesterday conducted a rapid spot check on whether CVR was complying with set procedures.

“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,” ZACC said in a notice.

“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.”

However, ZACC has mostly struggled to secure a conviction on the few high-profile cases it has handled, with the blame laid at the National Prosecution Authority. ZACC recently appealed to legislators to give it prosecution powers and more teeth to deal with graft in public and private spaces.

There is a huge backlog in both the issuance of driving licence discs and vehicle number plates dating back to 2018.

This week, Transport minister Felix Mhona toured CVR head office in Harare and came out seething with anger.

Mhona heard concerns from motorists queuing at the offices in Harare CBD and 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.

“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.

“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.”

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