By Joyce Mukucha
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Dr Joram Gumbo has warned all driving school proprietors and their staff to curb all forms of corruption that are proliferating in the industry.
Addressing Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) officials and driving schools owners at a press conference which was held on the 31st of January 2018 in Harare, Gumbo said within the 100-days action programme, he wanted to observe action taken on criminal officers by the Director responsible for the VID and his Depot Managers.
He said unprofessional drivers have no business on the roads as they are contributing to road accidents. Prospective drivers have been told not to lure the instructor or VID Driving Examiner by offering them bribes.
“My ministry does not accept any form of corruption in the issuance of such a valuable documents as this damages its reputation. The public domain is awash of instructors who act as conduits in the alleged corrupt practice. It is alleged that corrupt instructors mention the bribe to a learner driver, collect it, and pass it to an equally corrupt VID examiner and they obviously share the loot,” he said.
Minister Gumbo added that if a driving instructor or an assistant instructor was exclusively involved, he or she would be de-registered and handed over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police for prosecution. Where it is established that the school is involved, he said, the ministry would ensure that it is closed forever and owners will not be allowed back into the driving school industry.
He warned VID driving examiners who corruptly issue certificates of competency and provisional driver’s licences and emphasised that any VID driving instructor who forces instructors to ask for bribes would be dealt with without fear or favour.
“It is not only immoral but criminal to issue a drivers’ licence to a person who would have demonstrated lack of road traffic rules and regulations. How does one feel when there is an accident caused by someone who demonstrated lack of basic driving skill? How does one feel about rising accident statistics knowing fully well that you issue licences to grossly incompetent people on a day to day basis.
“I was shocked to hear that some officials are so cunning that they test learners and tell them in their face that without a bribe they cannot pass. That practice should stop forthwith, any VID official who thinks that corruption is part and [parcel of their DNA must resign with immediate effect,” Gumbo said.
Depot Managers have been directed to be on high alert and fish out all disruptive elements within their stations to control malpractices peculiar to certain depots. There are VID depots which have been said to be notorious for corruption.
Minister Gumbo said it was unacceptable to keep such criminals in government employment and the ministry as they cause danger to society and even to themselves.
The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe has been urged to enforce driving school regulations that were gazetted as Statutory Instrument 309 of 1985. It has been also ordered to publish and avail to the public a list of all registered driving schools.
The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has been instructed to charge only prescribed fees for processing of vital documents and the minister said efforts must be made to speed up the processing period.
As a way of curbing corruption, Gumbo said there was need to register every driving school and do renewals of such registration. All driving schools instructors have been urged to be regularly trained, certified and monitored.