HARARE – The Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) has fired 62 officers over corruption, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development has revealed.

In a report on the operations of Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) and VID, the committee said the officers were caught issuing certificates of fitness to non-roadworthy vehicles and provisional driver’s licences corruptly.

“The Committee was informed that during the last five years, from 2013 to 2017 and partially 2018, 62 officers were caught on the wrong side of the law.

“The said officers were caught issuing certificates of competence to non-deserving applicants, caught issuing learner licences to failed applicants and issuing certificates of fitness to non-roadworthy vehicles,” the report said.

“These officers were caught using VID internal control systems because members of the public have not been reporting any cases of being asked for bribes.

“The Chief Vehicle Inspector pointed out that the issue of corruption is complicated, but VID tried to put in place systems to minimise corruption.

“Those that are caught on the wrong side of the law are discharged from service and will not be employed again in the Public Service.”

Corruption at VID, vehicles with defects, speeding and bad roads have been cited as the major cause of traffic deaths across the country.

The Zimbabwe driver’s licence is internationally-recognised but has been losing its lustre due to wanton corruption in the issuance of the document, which is adversely damaging its reputation.

The committee said they were told by VID director Joseph Pedzapasi that his officers are getting poor salaries.

“VID officers are given targets or what is called employee contribution to the organisation.

“He (Pedzapasi) explained that one officer can bring something like between $10 000 and $15 000 per month to the organisation and if you look at the recognition for that effort, that person is paid $400 per month.

“As a result, there is an imbalance in terms of equity. This is where some of the corruption maybe coming from.

“The VID chief inspector explained that they have put measures such as toll free numbers where those people who have been asked to pay a bribe in order to pass can use to report and have also put notices at all depots informing members of the public to call whenever they have been asked for a bribe.

“The Committee raised concern over some vehicles which get involved in accidents within a week of being issued with a certificate of fitness.

“Pedzapasi explained that they realised that some operators are not honest.

“Some operators have what is called VID spares and will fit those components that will make the vehicle pass and soon after obtaining the certificate of fitness the components are removed,” added the report.