By Tendai Kamhungira
Parliamentarians yesterday lamented the arrest of only 62 corrupt members of the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) over the past five years, saying the figure was too small given the pervasive graft dogging the parastatal.
VID director Johannes Pedzapasi, who appeared before the Transport and Infrastructural Development Committee together with his colleague Jonathan Mberikunashe, said they had dealt with 62 cases of corrupt officers since 2013.
“During the last five years, that is between 2013 and the better part of 2018, 62 officers were caught on the wrong side of the law,” Pedzapasi said, adding that this number includes those that were caught issuing certificates of competency to non-deserving individuals, illegally issuing certificates of fitness and improper issuance of the learner’s licences.
He said these had been caught through the internal control systems. He further said those that were found on the wrong side of the law across the country’s 23 VID depots were handed to the police for prosecution.
“Those that were found on the wrong side of the law were discharged and will not be employed by the public service again,” he said.
Pedzapasi told the committee, chaired by Zanu PF MP for Muzarabani Christopher Chitindi, that they were having challenges in securing any convictions owing to some witnesses’ failure to cooperate with the police.
He said some of the witnesses disappeared before the cases were completed in the courts.
The MPs said the number of those arrested over the past five years do not inspire confidence in terms of the organisation’s will power to fight corruption within the system as the figure was next to nothing.
They further asked Pedzapasi what the organisation was doing to weed out corruption considering that those involved worked as syndicates.
Pedzapasi said they had set up toll free numbers, where members of the public can report acts of corruption and have also conducted live media shows to alert the people.
He also pledged that corruption will soon be a thing of the past within the organisation; because of the electronic system they were introducing.
He said they will achieve this through linking the VID, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration authorities and the Central Vehicle Registry systems electronically.
This system will eradicate the human factor and guard against corruption, as everything will be done electronically, according to Pedzapasi.
The MPs further asked on the progress that has been made towards commercialising the organisation. DailyNews