Fake vehicle licenses cost City
The Harare City Council has lost a lot of revenue due to fraudulent issuing of vehicle licenses by some District Offices around the city.
The issue only came to light recently after the City Authority realized that the expected revenue from vehicle licenses was dwindling as the money collected from the fake licenses did not reach the city coffers. Council has centralized its vehicle licensing to Rowan Martin Building in a bid to curb this problem.
One of the Councillors who declined to be named told the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) that the City has lost over a million dollars due to fraudulent activities by the District Offices.
The Local Authority is working closely with ZIMRA so that they can come up with new vehicle license disks with security features. All motorists who have the current disks will have to exchange them for the new ones.
Councilor Kapare from Ward 7 explained that the move to centralize vehicle licensing to Rowan Martin is an interim measure and as soon as proper systems are put into place, the Council will revert back to the issuing of license disks at District Offices.
While the move is noble, CHRA has received complaints from many vehicle owners that they are frustrated by the long queues at Rowan Martin. Motorists have also raised concerns over the Council staff that is attending to cases of vehicle licensing saying that the staff is not efficient and they work at a ‘chameleon’s pace’.
This situation has jeopardized the collection capacity of the City of Harare as a considerable number of vehicle owners sometimes leave the queues due to the frustration of waiting for hours before they can be served.
CHRA has since made the following recommendations to the Council, which will be discussed in the Finance Committee meeting to be held today (9th February 2010);
- The City of Harare must open more counters which are specific for vehicle licensing at Rowan Martin so as to reduce the long queues
- Council officials (Revenue Officers) who are behind the issuing of fake vehicle licenses must be relieved from their duties and face the full wrath of the law.
- The City Council must expedite the process of coming up with proper and secure systems that will guard against incidences of fraud. This will protect both the City Council and the motorists who have lost money to fraudsters.
- The Council should also consider restructuring the District Offices so that vehicle licensing can be decentralized once again and the licensing offices can be easily accessible to motorists.
CHRA encourages all vehicle owners who suspect that they are in possession of fake licenses to visit Rowan Martin Building for confirmation and advice.
The Association remains committed to advocating for good and transparent local Governance as well as lobbying for quality municipal services on a non partisan basis. Combined Harare Resident’s Association