The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration will this week introduce a computerised vehicle licence disc with high security features to curb counterfeit discs flooding the market. The new disc will be introduced on Saturday.
Last year alone, Zinara claims it lost US$15 million to bogus disc dealers. Zinara head of information, communication and technology Gift Kanotangudza, yesterday said the new disc will be bar coded and encrypted with security features difficult to decrypt. He said the system will be run from a central server at Zinara head office.
Kanotangudza said the new disc will contain all information relating to a vehicle such as chassis number, make, model and engine number. “We have come up with a robust and world class system with high technology security features.
“We have been losing a lot of revenue as a result of counterfeit discs. With this new system, one can even check details of a vehicle on the phone and compare it with the information on the disc to check the authenticity of the disc,” he said.
Kanotangudza said the discs will be in different shapes depending on the classes of vehicles. The discs will be sold at 50 Zimpost centres countrywide and plans are in place to establish more centres. Kanotangudza said although the sites were few, the process will be faster compared to the previous manual process.
He said more sites for licensing will be in major cities and provincial capitals. Ten mobile vehicle licensing sites will be introduced in remote areas. When motorists buy insurance for their vehicles, they will be issued with application forms to fill information relating to their vehicles.
They will be required to bring the forms and vehicle registration books for the first time when they buy the new discs. “This system will help us to know the exact number of vehicles on our roads and brings sanity.
“There will be no grace period for late payment of vehicle licence discs and come 1st June, motorists without the new discs will be fined. We have also reverted to the termly, bi-annual and annual licence discs,” said Kanotangudza.
The new discs will be printed instantly as per order from motorists. The discs will be serialised and the serial numbers will be recorded in the system. Kanotangudza said the discs will be issued to provinces according to their serial numbers.
He said it was also discovered that there were about 20 000 Zimbabwean-registered vehicles in South Africa, most of which were using counterfeit discs. He said Zinara will open an office in Beitbridge for Zimbabweans living in South Africa to license their vehicles.
Kanotangudza said they will also inform the South African Police of the new vehicle licence discs for them to act accordingly on fake discs circulating in that country. Zinara chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku said the old system was prejudicing them a lot of revenue.
“Registration records from the Central Vehicle Registry show that there are about 800 000 vehicles in the country. Out of that number, only about 400 000 vehicles were properly getting licence discs. Last year we lost about US$15 million as a result of counterfeit discs,” he said.
Chitukutuku said they were training Zimpost officials on the new licensing system.