VEHICLE Inspectorate Department (VID)officers are allegedly pocketing an estimated $15 million annually in bribes from prospective drivers, it has been claimed.
In an interview, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) said it was now common for prospective drivers to pay at least $150 as a bribe to a VID officer in order to be issued with a licence.
Cde Nduna said an average of 100 000 certificates of competency (drivers licence) are issued to new drivers yearly.
“At one point or the other you know that you cannot get a licence without paying $150 as a bribe to the VID officers via driving schools and other VID officials. So on average, it means $15 million is going into the pockets of VID officers,” he said.
He said because of the corrupt tendencies the number of licences issued by VID has suddenly increased.
“Where say 10 certificates of competency where being issued in Kadoma each week then suddenly there is a spike of 1 000 a week then it should raise an alarm,” he said.
Cde Nduna said there was a need to link Zinara, the Road Motor Transport (RMT), Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), Zimra and VID to ensure the management of vehicles in the country is easy.
“With Zimra you can put an electronic vehicle cover note on the customers’ clearance certificate so that at the point of entry when you import a vehicle you get your cover note and a customs clearing certificate, CVR and Zinara will then licence the vehicle,” he said.
Public service vehicles, he said, were given permits by RMT and can be linked to Zinara and CVR so that the same database at RMT is the same one at Zinara.
“At the moment there is variance. There are 80 000 registered public service vehicles at CVR as we speak but if you go to RMT who give permits for these vehicles they have 50 000, where is the other 30 000 vehicles? As soon as the operator moves away from RMT they tear away the manual receipts and pocket the money. That is why there is a variance of 30 000. It can only mean there is fraud at RMT based on the fact that the systems are not speaking to each other.”
He said an example of computerisation was evident in the management of toll gate fees. Cde Nduna said toll gates were receipted manually, Zinara used to collect $7 000 per day per toll-gate but that figure has trebled to about $21 000 per day because the system is now electronic.