By Zimbabwe Voice Reporter
ZIMBABWE Government has imported enough number plates to cover the backlog that existed after number plates went into short supply leading to many motorists being issued with temporarily plates.
Tens of thousands of motor vehicles were moving around without registration plates due to shortages of foreign currency to import the number plates.
This had resulted in a situation whereby motorists who visit the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), for number plates being directed to the Motor Trade Association of Zimbabwe to purchase temporary plates.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, told Parliament yesterday that enough number plates were already in the country.
“We were witnessing a shortage of number plates but I am glad to advise the august House that we have now imported adequate number plates that would make sure that we cover the backlog that we have as a nation,” Mhona said, adding that the plan was for these to be manufactured locally.
“Going forward, there is also a plant to make sure that these number plates are produced locally. This has been a Cabinet resolution and we are actually moving with speed so that we start having our number plates locally.
“In the meantime, we have managed to secure number plates that are adequate to cover those cars that do not have number plates,” he emphasized.
A registration number plate costs US$80 with the shortage being capitalised on by unscrupulous middlemen who were charging between US$150 and US$190 to get the plate through underhand dealings.
Meanwhile, Mhona called for members of the public to value their own lives and avoid pirate taxis, known on the streets as mushikashika. He said the risks of contracting Covid-19 or being robbed, raped or even killed in these unregistered pirate taxis were very high.
“We do not allow people to use mushikashika. A number of accidents that we witness on our major highways are normally caused by these mushikashikas – maWish are problematic.
“I would like to urge the citizenry to say that the life belongs to you. You need to make sure that you do not board the mushikashikas,” Mhona bemoaned.
“In most cases, you find that the front seat will be occupied by three or four passengers. Surely, to the people of Zimbabwe, as much as we would like to travel, with this advent of Covid-19, how can you be put in such a predicament where you are squashed in a car which is supposed to carry seven or so passengers?” □