How to curb corruption

Tonderai Rutsito
Last week I wrote about how mobile money services can be used as a solution to curb corrupt tendencies in some rogue traffic police officers who continue to demand spot fines without according you the right to pay later. While corruption is very difficult to trace mainly because the involved parties only deal with hard cash, it has become a global cancer, which requires collective effort to stamp out.

How mobile money will work against corruption

This solution can only work if Government is willing to enact laws to make this payment system binding.

Who will benefit?
The nation at large because all the revenue collected will be properly accounted for and channelled into State coffers and these can be used for the development of the nation.

How to track defaulting motorist
While allowing motorists to pay fines later has its challenges as most drivers tend to falsify their details and disappear without paying their fines, the system can still work if proper technology is applied.

EasiPark and Harare City Council are already using a home-grown solution to collect parking fees in Harare. The system allows the Harare City Council officials manning the parking bays to detect vehicles that defaulted on paying parking fees which they will then demand from the driver. The Police can use the same system where they book a traffic offence through a system connected to Zimra so that the next time when you go to renew your licence, you will be obliged to also pay any outstanding fines.

Bar code and QR codes technology
These are simply diagrammatic ways of carrying information which the human eye cannot reach but a special hand-held device can scan and decode the information.

This technology can then be used to work as a ticket for anyone who commits any traffic offence, the QR code is then stamped on the car to reflect the status of the crime, whether a fine has been paid or is pending or in default, which then makes it easy for any police officer to flush out defaulters.

Every vehicle whether it has committed any traffic offense or not, will then be obliged to carry a QR code to confirm its status which then can be removed by any officer if there are no outstanding tickets or fines.

While ideas to try and curb corruption are many, it all boils down to our willingness to deal decisively with the issue. Once again I will close this topic with a quote from the learned Judge Justice Francis Bere:

“We talk of determination for the need to rid this country of corruption. How can we achieve this when we allow our police officers to conduct themselves in such a corrupt manner? My view is that all these issues must be seriously looked at and corrective action be taken without further delays.”

The writer is the editor of TechnoMag Zimbabwe’s premier technology magazine, More in- depth from and follow us on Twitter @TechnoMagZw and join us on