Transport Minister, Joram Gumbo, has threatened to invite the military to deal with corrupt officials at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) if they failed to heed calls to stop corruption.
Gumbo was addressing a press conference in Harare this week where he said corruption had become rampant at the VID especially the issuance of drivers’ licenses.
The minister said he was ashamed the parastatal was under his ministry, adding he would be forced to retire some of the top officials who were known for corruption and hand them over to authorities for prosecution.
He said the Zimbabwean drivers’ license was internationally recognized and could be used to obtain an International Drivers Permit, thus any corrupt issuance of the document damaged its reputation.
“We will engage Zimbabwe Republic Police to root out all the corrupt elements; and I do have their names, and if possible we will rope in the soldiers who are easily obeyed,” he said.
Obtaining a driver’s license in Zimbabwe has become a nightmare for many people as they are forced to fork out huge sums of money in bribes to acquire one notwithstanding their competencies.
Some people have reportedly been issued with licenses without even going for any road test, a situation which has seen the country record unnecessary accidents, most of them as a result of human error.
Gumbo accused VID Driving Examiners and Driving School Instructors of conniving in the perpetration of corruption and warned that all allegations of corruption would be fully investigated.
“If a driving instructor or an assistant instructor is solely involved, s/he will be deregistered and handed over to the police for prosecution. Where it is established that the School is also involved, we shall ensure that it is closed forever,” he said.
The Minister said the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa had adopted a zero tolerance towards corruption, adding anyone caught on the wrong side of the law would never be allowed back at work.
“I would like to appeal to the Director of Vehicle Inspection Department and all Depot Managers to inform their staff that in this new dispensation, we will not accept any form of corruption,” he said.
He said it was disheartening to note that top officers at the VID were defending their staff and harbouring criminal behaviour which was rampant at their respective depots.
The Ministry, he said, would not hesitate to transfer offending depot managers to remote centres if they failed to change their behaviour at the end of the 100 days action programme.