By Andile Tshuma
The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has run out of vehicle registration plates, an official has confirmed.
In an interview, Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) Director, Mr Johannes Pedzapasi, said the shortage had been caused by a delay in shipment of the plate-making material from Germany where the country sources the material which is then stamped with the numbers locally.
“There was also a delay at Forbes Border Post leading to the short supply of plates at various centres countrywide,” he said.
Mr Pedzapasi also attributed the delay to high sea levels in the Indian Ocean, leading to the delay in the shipment’s arrival in the country.
He said the vehicle registration plates had since arrived in the country and were yet to be distributed to respective provinces.
“We had run out of the short plates and only had longer number plates in supply. However, we managed to source both short and long versions of the number pates. The situation is expected to return to normal soon,” said Mr Pedzapasi.
Stranded motorists who spoke to The Chronicle in Bulawayo said they had waited for over two weeks to get vehicle registration plates.
They said they were facing problems with the police over lack of number plates.
A motorist from Southwold suburb who identified himself as Mr Byron Mpofu said he had to negotiate with police officers and produce proof that he had applied for plates for him not to get into trouble with the law.
“I was lucky to find understanding police officers. I showed them all the documentation after I was told I had to pay a fine. After they saw all the forms I had in the car, they realised it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t displaying any number plates on my recently imported car,” said Mr Mpofu.
Some motorists called on Government to consider producing everything locally.
“We must be able to manufacture this in the country. We cannot be using scarce foreign currency to import metal plates that can be produced in the country.
“Industry should be revived and empowered. We hope that the new Government will rectify this as it does not make any sense. Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce its own number plates,” said Mr Tapiwa Majoni from Mahatshula South suburb. The Chronicle