HomeEditorial CommentEditors Memo: ‘Govt must stop harassing motorists’

Editors Memo: ‘Govt must stop harassing motorists’

One of the most debilitating challenges Zimbabwe has faced is that of inadequate power. If there is anything that will derail all efforts to turnaround the economy it will be this. Interestingly, that there will be a power deficit both in Zimbabwe and the whole southern African region was realised as far back as 20 years ago.  I remember a time when power utility Zesa had pushed through the thinking that no new house be built in Zimbabwe without a domestic solar system. How this thinking died and when, no one knows. But the constant power cuts that everyone is experiencing should help push all households to move towards installing solar panels on their roofs.

While still at it, I feel hopeful that Zimbabwe will in the next decade have moved to clean energy as an inadvertent result of the power shortages. Crises create opportunities never anticipated. What is happening at Zimplats and other big mining companies is the way to go if the power shortage in the country is to be alleviated. Very soon all big corporations may have little choice but to emulate what these mining conglomerates are doing.

It was reported this week that Zimplats has been given two licences to generate its own power. By the end of next year it could be generating up to 185MW to power its mines. Caledonia Mines which runs Blanket Mine has also got its own licence and will generate 12MW. I see a lot of other big miners following suit. In the end, a revolution will have happened quietly where Zimbabwe has turned to clean energy outside the public gaze. These long-term investments by mostly foreign companies  Zimplats is owned by South African miner Implats while Blanket is owned by NYSE Exchange-listed Caledonia  are a show of confidence in the country.

Zimbabwe Independent columnist Jacob Kudzai Mutisi has written imploring the police to stop harassing motorists over vehicle number plates and offers what could be a great solution. He writes:

“The basic solution to Zimbabwe’s number plate problem is to computerise the whole system and issue plates at the port of entry into Zimbabwe. In this age and time we are still running around with pieces of paper yet we claim to be a digital economy. Why is the government of Zimbabwe not issuing number plates at the port of entry into Zimbabwe? Why am I given 14 days to have a number plate? Why am I being allowed to travel all the way from Beitbridge or Plumtree to Harare and then have my vehicle impounded? The ZRP should not be used by individuals who have failed to put their houses in order. ZRP should not be arresting innocent citizens; its job is to apprehend criminals, not law abiding citizens who are being victimised because of the failure of a department to deliver the service that it is paid to do.  If the minister is saying number plates are awash, why is he not giving them out at the port of entry into the country? Why is he in the media telling us to have number plates yet he knows the system cannot cope?

“Let us stop harassing citizens because of the challenges at CVR. The new republic should be making it easier for the ordinary car owner to obtain plates instead of forcing people to gather at the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR).

“Computerising the plate licensing process and issuing number plates on the port of entry will not only eradicate corruption at CVR but will also pull a smile on our citizens who are experiencing economic and mental hardships.”

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