Government has — with immediate effect — suspended Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) officials from Marondera and Beitbridge depots on allegations of corruptly issuing provisional driver’s licences to undeserving people. Those suspended in Marondera are depot manager Mr S. Kachere and his two subordinates Messrs J. Musosi and D. Chingwaru, while in Beitbridge acting depot manager K Mutatabikwa and an official T. Maposa were sent home.
The suspensions followed an investigation by The Herald at Marondera VID Depot which exposed that officials were taking bribes to issue provisional driver’s licences to undeserving people.
A Herald investigative journalist was issued with an authentic learner’s licence after paying the mandatory “bribe” at VID Marondera Depot.
On Thursday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza promised that action would be taken against the corrupt officials, and yesterday he followed that by suspending them.
In a statement yesterday, Minister Matiza said his ministry had a zero tolerance policy on corruption in line with the aspirations of the new dispensation and a committee had since been set to investigate cases of corruption in Marondera and Beitbridge.
“The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza wishes to inform members of the public that due to the allegations of corruption levelled against VID Marondera, the Marondera depot manager S. Kachere has been suspended together with officers involved in corruptly issuing provisional learners’ drivers licences, namely J Musosi and D Chingwaru,” reads part of the statement.
“At VID Beitbridge, the acting depot manager K. Mutatabikwa and an officer T. Maposa who are alleged to have improperly issued learners’ drivers licences to undeserving applicants have been suspended pending investigations.
“As a result, an investigation committee has been set up to carry out investigations on the business processes so as to come up with findings and recommendations.”
Minister Matiza said as a result of the rampant reports of corruption at VID depots, Government would expedite the computerisation of learners’ driving tests countrywide.
“The Electronic Learner Licensing Testing (ELLT) system which has already computerised VID Eastlea, VID Chitungwiza and VID Bulawayo will be speedily rolled out to provincial capitals such as Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare and then spread out to all other towns countrywide,” said Minister Matiza.
The strategy, according to the statement, is being implemented to curb corruption on the issuance of learners’ licences countrywide.
The Ministry has a zero tolerance policy to corruption in line with the aspirations of the new dispensation.
“Therefore, on 16 March 2016, the Ministry introduced Toll free lines with the following numbers 08013121, 08013122 and 08013123 for members of the public to report corruption whenever they are asked for a bribe by anyone to obtain a drivers’ licences or to pass a vehicle for a certificate of fitness. The Toll free numbers are displayed on all VID vehicles, at VID depots notice boards and within the VID premises for public to use them. I also urge members of the public to report corruption to the nearest Zimbabwe Republic Police Station so that the culprits are brought to book.”
The computerised learners driving test entailed that the computer randomly chooses questions for the learners from a pool of questions loaded in the computer and that though learners sit for the same test, they don’t answer the same questions and the computer automatically do the marking once the learner answers the last question.