Sunday, 13 January 2019


The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) is grappling with a shortage of number plates following a delayed shipment that was expected to arrive mid-December.

Last year, the CVR through the ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development placed an order for 400 000 blank plates from Germany, which are still to arrive.

Amos Mar, the permanent secretary in the ministry told the Daily News on Sunday that the Christmas holidays contributed to the delay as the suppliers had gone for holidays.

“We were expecting to receive them in mid-December but our suppliers closed for the festive season and we are awaiting confirmation on when to expect the delivery,” he said.

Marawa said motorists are allowed to use temporal plates for a period of two weeks before getting the actual plates but may now find themselves having to endure a longer time without them due to the delayed order.

He revealed that while the consumption rate yearly ranges from 120 000 to 150 000 plates, the ministry usually makes a huge order as costs for big orders are much cheaper.

But after government resolved to charge duty on vehicle imports in foreign currency, most people rushed to bring in more vehicles, leading to an increase in demand for number plates.

Last year, the ministry encountered similar challenges although the delay was due to then high sea levels in the Indian Ocean, leading to the hold-up in the shipment’s arrival in the country.

This shortage has taken a toll on new car owners as they are battling with police over the issue.

Stranded motorists told the Daily News on Sunday the only available option would be to secure temporary plates from the Zimbabwe Motor Industry (ZMI) but these are now expensive.

“ZMI has increased prices for temporary plates and our police are also refusing to recognise the temporary plates. This is frustrating to motorists with new vehicles we don’t know where to run to,” said one Tynwald motorist who identified himself as Brian Shoko.

Another motorist said he was recently arrested and is on the verge of losing his new vehicle as he cannot afford the impermanent plates.

“Recently, I was arrested for not having temporary plates since there are no proper number plates. I had to pay $30 for the temporary number plates which were $20 before and have increased to $30.

“Today (Thursday) I met police in the CBD and they told me that they don’t care about the temporary plates and they told me they want to impound the vehicle,” he said. Daily News


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