ZACC swoops on CVR middlemen

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is setting up a makeshift office outside the Central Vehicle Registry in Harare to receive reports of possible corruption and get rid of middlemen and conmen that hang around nearby either conning motorists of cash or actually having a friend in the CVR.

ZACC will be educating motorists on the dangers of graft.

This is part of a cocktail of measures by the anti-graft body to plug loopholes for corruption and ensure citizens get the best service.

This comes at a time when CVR is under fire for corruption amid reports that people were paying middlemen up to US$100 for quicker issue of number plates and drivers’ licences

When people are not sure of the readiness of their documents, some middlemen in connivance with some officers, may take advantage of the backlog, demanding bribes for the release of licence discs and plates.

Recent spot checks by ZACC’s Compliance and Systems Review department exposed the dangers, resulting in the commission’s compliance department coming up with measures that reduce the possibility of corruption.

“ZACC Compliance Department conducted spot checks at the Central Vehicle Registry and recommended measures to plug loopholes for corruption. CVR is already implementing some of them.

“ZACC shall camp outside the premises to educate motorists on dangers of engaging in corruption and the public will be able to report any incidences of corruption at the ZACC tent,” reads a statement.

ZACC recommended that all names of drivers whose licences are ready for collection should be published in the Press for transparency.

“CVR should publish details of all uncollected number plates in The Herald and other media platforms advising motorists to collect their number plates in batches basing on date of production.

“CVR should clear driver’s licences backlog for 2018 to 2020.This has to be done in batches due to limited materials for the production.

“CVR should engage mobile network providers such as NetOne and Econet to inform motorists to collect their number plates from CVR, through SMS or Whatsapp messages,” reads the statement.

CVR, according to ZACC, should put a public notice on the entrance to their premises, denouncing the middlemen who are charging up to US$100 to fast-track the issuance of licences and vehicle registration plates. Such notices have been used in the past but now need to include the information that the public can also be arrested for paying a bribe to middlemen.

CVR was also advised to expedite the introduction of SADC synchronised electronic plastic drivers licences which are less costly and could improve efficiency and clear the backlog.

The Herald understands there was, until recent measures, a huge backlog in both the issuance of driving licences and vehicle number plates dating back to 2018 before the major action early this year to sort out the problems

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, toured CVR head office in Harare to assess the situation and establish the source of the delays, some inherent but some which seemed to be part of a cycle of corruption.

He wanted the institutional problems fixed and any corruption rooted out. He also noted that both the person paying a bribe and the person receiving were breaking the law, and this made investigation harder.

“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,” he said.

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 there 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.”Herald.

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