Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE have said the sale of cars without effecting change of ownership emerged as one of their biggest challenges during their operation targeting motorists driving unregistered, unlicenced and vehicles without number plates.
The operation, which started on January 15, has netted about 14 000 motorists countrywide, resulting in several vehicles being impounded.
Police blame some drivers of such vehicles for committing serious crimes, including armed robberies.
Roadblocks have been mounted strategically on major roads countrywide, as cops aim to remove unregistered vehicles off the roads.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the operation is yielding expected results as vehicles of concern are being impounded and motorists being arrested.
“Yesterday we arrested 1 381 and now the total figure stands at 13 982. The operation has been successful as I alluded to. The major challenge we have discovered is that people are selling cars, but are not effecting change of ownership. You will find that one car has changed ownership several times. We have a case in Harare where one car has been owned by seven people without change of ownership,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“It is still registered in the name of the first person who acquired it and later sold to another person up to the seventh person.
This is a potential risk in terms of several factors, for example, when one gets injured in case of an accident and when issues to do with compensation issues are involved and even in death instances. It becomes a challenge because you will need to trace all these seven people.”
He said some motorists have become comfortable with using temporary number plates for some unknown reasons.
“We want to remind Zimbabweans that the Vehicle Registration Licensing Act Chapter 13:14 is very clear and we appeal to the motoring public to familiarise themselves with the vehicle provision of this Act in terms of licensing of vehicles in the country and the role of the police and various stakeholders,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi commended Government for decentralising the issuance of number plates across the country
“We appeal to motorists not to flood Harare and Bulawayo, but to go to their respective towns and areas where number plates are available. They also need to continue co-operating with the police. We have been talking about crime and we are not saying each and every motorist has been involved in committing crime. But those cases that we have detected have clearly indicated the risk of using vehicles that are not permanently registered,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said police are screening some of the impounded vehicles to see if they have been used in committing crime.
Once the screening exercise is complete, Asst Comm Nyathi said they will notify the public of those linked to crime.
In the past, four post offices, Causeway and Southerton in Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo’s Main Post Office, used to be the sole distributors of number plates before Government added Mutare Main, Rusape, Bindura, Marondera, Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Victoria Falls and Hwange Post offices to provide the same services.
Number plates can also be accessed at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority at Kurima House in Harare, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Beitbridge.
The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) will soon be responsible for only issuing number plates to corporates, Government departments, diplomats and the replacement of lost number plates. – @nqotshili.