The Herald (Harare)

9 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Zinara's Computerised System Welcome

Photo: Herald
Tollgate.

Vehicle licensing is a statutory obligation since it is illegal to use the country's roads with unlicenced motor vehicles. However, while more and more people continue to import vehicles, it would seem many are not keen on having the vehicles registered.There is an element of criminality all the way and we hope those who have not bothered to register their vehicles and have them licensed to use our roads do so without further delay.

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration will next month introduce a computerised tolling system that will bar motorists owing it from passing through tollgates, all in a bid to enforce payment of licencing fees that ensure that our roads are maintained.

Zinara's mandate is that of collecting licensing fees so that it can maintain the country's roads. Motorists have complained over the poor state of our roads, with many of the roads not in good shape, especially after the rains.

The roads will, however, not improve unless the hundreds of thousands of defaulting motorists pay up their licences instead of driving on the roads for free and causing damage through increased traffic volumes not matched by increased revenue to repair the roads.

For a while now, a number of motorists have resorted to night driving to avoid police road blocks due to a bad attitude of not wanting to pay licencing fees.

That era is coming to an end since the computerised system at tollgates would fish out the non-paying motorists regardless of the time of the day.

According to Zinara, since moving from the manual vehicle licencing system last year 419 000 vehicles had been licensed while about 380 000 failed to renew their licences.

We believe these motorists who have failed to renew their licences since May last year should just renew their vehicle licences and save the State all the resources that will be deployed to track them down in the impending joint operation between the police, Central Vehicle Registry and Zinara.

We also understand that some of the vehicles found their way into the country illegally and it is our view that owners of such vehicles should face the full wrath of the law.

As Zinara readies to take over collection of toll gate fees from Zimra, it is our hope that the funds will be handled properly so that motorists feel money from licencing and toll gates is being put to good use.

Granted, refurbishment of the country's roads requires billions of dollars but we should see signs of improvement on pockets of roads around the country to silence cynics who may seek to use lack of clear development as an excuse for not paying Zinara fees.

Registration and licencing of vehicles is quite crucial since apart from it being a legal requirement, it provides useful statistics required by policy makers in planning for road expansion and even traffic control measures, not to mention aiding police in the fight against car theft and organised cross-border vehicle theft.

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