By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
The Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) will tomorrow start conducting road tests and issuing driver’s licences after close to six months of closure.
The closure of VID in March, after the Government introduced a national lockdown due to Covid-19, had left hundreds of learners and prospective learner drivers in a quandary. The Government, however, extended the validity of provisional driving licences and defensive driving certificates by six months, giving room for holders to remain eligible for testing.
This was done through SI 144 of 2020. Ideally, provisional licenses have a one-year lifespan from the date of issue.
SI 144 of 2020 (also known as Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (Amendment) Order, 2020 (No. 11) gave provisional licence holders six more months in addition to the one-year period the document is valid to compensate for time lost during the lockdown.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has since issued a circular to VID depots instructing them to start conducting tests and issue drivers licences from tomorrow.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Engineer Amos Marawa told Sunday News that VID had finalised developing the Covid-19 operating guidelines and standard operating procedures, which are in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, and were approved by the National Task Force on Covid-19 and Cabinet. Eng Marawa said despite the go-ahead, VID will continue operating under the prescribed modus operandi during the Covid-19 induced lockdown period.
“VID has developed Covid-19 operating guidelines and standard operating procedures are in line with WHO guidelines and were approved by the National Task Force on Covid-19 and Cabinet. These will guide the operations of VID during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) has announced that the Central Vehicle Registry’s (CVR) has no capacity to issue adequate vehicle registration licences.
In a presentation during a virtual training session for journalists, ICZ representative Mr Tendai Karonga said there were 80 000 unregistered vehicles in the country yet the CVR has the capacity to issue 32 000 registration plates up to the end of the year. This comes at a time when crimes of robbery perpetrated by motorists using unregistered vehicles are on the increase.
“Performance of motor insurance was further affected by the Central Vehicle Registry’s (CVR) inability to register vehicles due to lack of financial resources to produce registration plates. This resulted in about 80 000 unregistered and uninsured vehicles on the roads, leading to a loss of the mandatory Third-Party Motor premiums of approximately Z$60 million.
Statistics are based on the CVR Registrar’s Report to the Parliamentary Transport Committee on 28 September 2020. The situation might persist as CVR has the financial resources to provide plates for 32 000 vehicles leaving more than 48 000 unregistered,” said Mr Karonga. The Sunday News