Friday, 9 February 2018

54 VID OFFICERS SACKED

A TOTAL of 54 Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) officers have been fired for corruption while driving schools found on the wrong side of the law will be closed, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said Government was committed to the fight against corruption in the acquisition of driver’s licences.

Presenting a Ministerial Statement on Corruption at the VID in the National Assembly  in Harare on Thursday, Dr Gumbo said the payment of bribes for one to get a licence would not be tolerated and 54 VID officers had been fired in recent months.

“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,” he said.

Dr Gumbo said his Ministry was also aware that corruption at the VID is not only confined to the issuance of driver’s licences but had spread to other services offered such as certificate of fitness for vehicles.

The Minister said 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 dismissed for engaging in corrupt activities.

“Mr Speaker Sir, we have also heard of VID driving examiners who corruptly issue certificates of competency and even provisional drivers’ licences.

“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,” he said.
Dr Gumbo said acts of corruption have continued despite the introduction of innovative measures to fight corruption at VID.

“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.

“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,” he said.
Dr Gumbo said last month his Ministry met representatives of driving schools, VID personnel, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders to remind them that improper behaviour by public officials who betray the trust bestowed upon them as Government employees will no longer be tolerated.

He said he had also directed the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to execute its regulatory responsibilities as outlined in the Traffic Safety Council Act.

Dr Gumbo said among measures to curb corruption, a system had been put in place for a learner driver going for a road test to pick a ball from a basket with an office number to select an examiner. He said this strategy is envisaged to counter pre-arranged corrupt practices.

“In line with the SADC harmonisation of standards for testing drivers, we have constructed in all VID yards, SADC standard hill-starts, three point-turn facilities, parallel parking facilities and reversing facilities.

This strategy enhances transparency and fairness by ensuring that 80 percent of the road test is conducted in the yard in full view of members of the public,” the Minister said.
Dr Gumbo said with effect from March 6 this year, all VID depots and the department’s vehicles are required to display toll free numbers so that members of the public can give feedback on service delivery and also report corrupt practices.

He said senior officers are now allowed to recall all already inspected vehicles for checks.
There will also be a rotation of examiners so that they do not develop relationships with potential learner drivers and driving schools.

Dr Gumbo said a transfer policy, which helps in mitigating against over-familiarisation of officers with members of the public which has a high propensity for corruption, will be effected. Chronicle

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