Government recently said it is failing to procure raw materials to produce metal driver’s licence discs, citing sanctions.
This was revealed by Transport minister Felix Mhona saying that the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has been struggling to clear a huge backlog of driver’s licences.
“CVR has made positive steps in clearing the backlog on driver’s licence discs. However, the pace is not as fast as we would want because of several challenges, some of which are beyond the scope of CVR in particular, and the ministry in general. For a better context, the raw materials used in the manufacture of license discs are imported, and because of sanctions, it has been hard to procure them from the traditional suppliers in the USA [United States of America],” he said.
Mhona said a driver’s licence was increasingly becoming a mandatory document like a national identity.
“More and more people are taking driver’s licenses as cars are also increasing on the roads. Most of the work from VID to CVR remains manual and this takes time. As it stands, there is only one plant or machine to make the license discs in Zimbabwe and it has to absorb all applicants. The production line also uses a special type of typewriter, for example, Olivetti and Brothers, which have unique characters and letters that help to weed out counterfeits,” Mhona said.
He said with a good supply of photo plates and equipment, disc production could improve.
“As such, CVR will be launching its new Sadc plastic license that is compliant with the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme sometime in January 2023,” he said.
At the beginning of this month, a local driving school employee, Leon Brendon Peresu was charged with fraud after he allegedly scammed driver’s licence seekers. Peresu collected cash from a total of five victims after promising they would undergo Class two drivers’ lessons, also offering booking test slots at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID).
In October 2022, the driver’s license was removed as proof of identity leaving only valid passports or national identity cards to be required as proof of identity.