Gumbo announces measures to curb corruption at the Vehicle Inspection Department






THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Yesterday, there was a request from Hon. Members through Hon. Maridadi that I must make a ministerial statement on corruption at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID). I would like to thank you for affording me the opportunity to make this statement in respect of corruption at the VID.  The Zimbabwe driver’s licence is an internationally recognised document.  Since Zimbabwe is a signatory to the 1986 United Nations Convention, our citizens can obtain an international driving permit upon production of our driver’s licence.  Such a permit allows you to drive in other States that are signatories to the same.  It is the duty of the Government of Zimbabwe and indeed my Ministry to jealously guard against its status.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the public domain is awash with reports of driving school instructors who act as conduits in the alleged corrupt practices related to the issuance of drivers’ licences. In line with the stance adopted by His Excellency the President, Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa, I would like to warn all owners of driving schools and their staff that all allegations of corruption will be fully investigated and handed over to the ZRP for prosecution.  Where it is established that the driving school is involved, we shall ensure that it is closed.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we have also heard of VID driving examiners who corruptly issue certificates of competency and even provisional driver’s licences.  My Ministry is also aware that corruption at the VID is not only confined to the issuance of driver’s licences but has spread to other services offered such as certificate of fitness for vehicles.  On the 31st of January, 2018…

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order, Hon. Members to my left.  You are the very people who requested the Minister to make a ministerial statement today.  He has humbly left the Politburo in session to come and deliver this important message to the nation and you are starting to make noise.

HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. On the 31st of January 2018, my Ministry met with representatives of driving schools, VID personnel, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders.  I reminded them that indecorous behaviour from public officials who betray the trust bestowed upon them as Government employees will no longer be tolerated.  I also appealed to the Director Vehicle Inspection Department and all Depot Managers to inform their staff that in this new dispensation, we will not accept any form of corruption.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to assure this august House that within the context of the 100 days action programme, tangible action will be taken on errant officers by the office of the permanent secretary.  Any VID Driving Examiner who coerces driving school instructors to ask for bribes should be dealt with without fear or favour.

Fifty four officers have so far been fired when it was discovered that they were engaged in corrupt activities.  The stations affected include VID Chiredzi which issued 199 driver’s licences to undeserving applicants. The licences were subsequently cancelled by the Ministry.  Mr. Speaker Sir, officers from VID Eastlea, VID Belvedere, VID Chitungwiza, VID Nyamapanda, VID Chinhoyi, VID Marondera, VID Victoria Falls, VID Kwekwe, VID Chirundu, VID Mutare and VID Kadoma were also dismissed for engaging in corrupt activities.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I have also directed the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to execute their regulatory responsibilities as outlined in the Traffic Safety Council Act.  It is the duty of the council to enforce driving school regulations that we gazette under Statutory Instrument 309 of 1985.  Some of the requirements are as follows;

1.    the need to register every driving school and do annual renewals of such registration;

2.    all driving school instructors should be trained, certified and monitored regularly;

3.    renewals by driving schools and instructors must be done timeously; and

4.    driving schools should be inspected on a regular basis.

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