Number plates shortage: Cops harass motorists

HARARE - Motorists say they are still facing challenges using temporary number plates on their vehicles even after government announced an extension of their life-span.

The temporary plates used to be valid for two weeks but have now been extended to an indefinite period of time although police profess ignorance to this extension.

In a survey by the Daily News crew, disgruntled motorists revealed that the extension has not been officially affected as some of them continue battling with police officers who are still harassing them. .

“One of my friends was recently arrested by traffic police for using expired temporary plates yet we are told they now have an indefinite life-span. Thirty dollars is a lot of money especially considering that permanent plates are going for around $80 swipe, so we would really appreciate the implementation of this extension,” Walter Moyo, a disgruntled  motorist said.

Another motorist told this publication that although government’s motive is commendable, shortages of temporary plates have begun to reel the motorists.

“In the near future we will end up parking our new vehicles because the temporary plates are not readily available as government makes it seem. It would be much better if our government worked towards ensuring that number plates can be manufactured in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Motorists who want the short versions of the plates have reportedly been waiting for more than two months to access them, while those who require permanent ones have been waiting for over a month.

At the same time motorists lamented the $30 cost of temporary plates for duration of two weeks.

While Transport and infrastructural development minister Biggie Matiza has attributed the shortage to the scarce foreign currency, Amos Marawa, the permanent secretary in the ministry told the Daily News that the problem was due to a delayed shipment that was expected to arrive mid-December last year.

“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,” Marawa said.

He added 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.

Reportedly, 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 allegedly 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

Matiza, in a recent statement, however, reiterated that government has prolonged the temporary use of identification cards following the number plates shortage that the country is facing.

    Comments (1)

    Gvt please be serious in terms of manufacturing our own number plates. put your house in order thank you. these exorbitant prices are ridiculous

    charera - 15 February 2019

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.