By Innocent Ruwende
The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has run out of vehicle registration plates, with a few available at post offices outside Harare.
This means those who used Harare addresses when they purchased their vehicles cannot access the remaining plates.
Motorists who require the short versions of the plates have been waiting for more than two months to access them, while those who require long versions have been waiting for over a month.
Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) director Mr Johannes Pedzapasi confirmed the shortage, but refused to comment further, saying Government would issue a statement at the appropriate time.
Efforts to contact Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza and his deputy, Advocate Fortune Chasi, were fruitless.
Stranded motorists who spoke to The Herald said they had waited for periods of up to two months to get the vehicle registration plates.
Some have been complaining that although the VID was aware of the situation, its officers had been manning roadblocks and impounding vehicles without registration plates.
Mr Pedzapasi dismissed the allegations saying: “It is not true that we are impounding unregistered vehicles.”
Motorists said they were also facing problems with the police over lack of number plates.
The country sources the plate-making material from Germany, while stamping of numbers is done locally.
Sources close to the CVR said the shortage was as a result of foreign currency challenges affecting the country.
In September last year, Mr Pedzapasi attributed another shortage to a delay in shipment of the plate-making material from Germany.
“There was also a delay at Forbes Border Post leading to the short supply of plates at various centres countrywide,” he said then.
Mr Pedzapasi attributed the delay to high sea levels in the Indian Ocean, leading to the delay in the shipment’s arrival in the country.
Motorists have in the past called on Government to consider producing the plates locally. The Herald.