Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
More than 500 000 vehicles on the country’s roads are not registered and their owners risk losing them to Government if they are not registered by December, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said yesterday. Most of the unregistered vehicles are those that were distributed to variousGovernment departments by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe during the farm mechanisation programme around 2006.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 1,2 million vehicles according to the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration statistics. Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of Airport Road, which is being constructed by zinara in Harare yesterday, Minister Mpofu said parliamentarians also constituted a significant number of motorists with unregistered vehicles.
Minister Mpofu said although motorists were cooperating, more vehicles were not yet in the system. “We feel the number of people using unlicensed vehicles in the country is in excess of 500 000,” he said. “The (registration) response has been good, but we feel there is still more vehicles that have not been licensed and we continue to appeal to the public to assist us and even yesterday in Cabinet I appealed to colleagues to sensitise their departments to have their vehicles registered.
“Most of the vehicles that are affected by this issue are those that were issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and others that were issued to Members of Parliament.
“Some have come, but we still have a sizeable number that have not come forward to have their vehicles registered. “It creates a problem where you have vehicles on your roads that are not registered when they are involved in accidents, they are not insured and people affected don’t get compensated.
“We want by the end of this year to have all vehicles licensed. “The next step will be perhaps confiscation of those vehicles but we haven’t reached that stage.” Commenting on the construction of the Airport Road, Minister Mpofu said the September 21 completion deadline should be met after which the road would be launched by President Mugabe.
He said there had been a lot of excuses for the delays but Government was running out of patience. “I am going to the Politburo to try and assure them that it will be done hopefully by the targeted time so that it is launched,” he said. Minister Mpofu appealed to companies contracted by zinara to continue working as their outstanding payments were being prepared.
He said Government had received a number of bidders for the refurbishment of the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway. “We want to ensure that about 60 percent of the work that will be done by the company that will win the tender will be sub-contracted to locals,” he said.
“We do not want that company to bring its employees here,” he said.