TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister Felix Mhona has wielded the axe on top managers at the Central Vehicle Registration (CVR) offices in Harare as government moves to improve efficiency on service delivery within state-owned institutions.
The CVR department has been a hotbed for rampant corruption and inefficiency, where officials on various instances were accused of frustrating the vehicle licence issuance process to force motorists to pay bribes.
A well-placed source said the dragnet was closing in on officials who are facing corruption-related allegations at CVR.
Some senior officials have since been transferred while investigations are underway.
Mhona, according to the source, transferred top officials at CVR to the Ministry of Transport head office at Kaguvi Building.
According to a well-placed source, one of the officials is now a deputy director at the head office while the other two are yet to be reassigned.
There are indications of more transfers and dismissals in the pipeline at the vehicle registry unit as government targets stamping out inefficiencies and incompetence.
“Three top officials at CVR have since been transferred as the government looks at stamping out inefficiencies at CVR.
More heads are expected to roll.
In the past, the target has been junior officers but there is a push for a complete overhaul of the department’s leadership,” the source said.
Mhona, in an interview with the Independent this week, confirmed the transfer of the top officials to his ministry head office, saying the move was part of a clean-up exercise and improving efficiencies at the car registry department.
“We are organising a tour soon to CVR then we will address some of your questions by first-hand information, but to say the least, normalcy has returned at CVR.
Yes, senior management has been moved from CVR,” he said.
Mhona recently told the media that some officials at the CVR department would undergo investigations on corruption-related allegations.
Thousands of motorists had to spend years without accessing vehicle number plates.
The corruption at CVR came to light when the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) launched a blitz on unregistered and unlicensed vehicles in Zimbabwe with thousands of motorists being arrested while their vehicles were impounded.
“Corruption has no place in the Second Republic. We are going to clean the rot at CVR and bring a new work ethic to the institution.
No one should struggle to acquire number plates,” Mhona said during a visit at CVR offices in January this year.
The minister has been vocal about rooting out deep-rooted corruption that has been entrenched in departments under his ministry.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has since launched a programme to educate motorists on the dangers of graft as part of a cocktail of measures to plug loopholes.
The CVR was also under fire for corruption amid reports that people were paying middlemen up to US$200 for quick issuance of number plates.
Reports indicated that alleged middlemen in connivance with some officers were taking advantage of the backlog, demanding bribes for the release of licence discs and plates.
Spot checks by Zacc’s Compliance and Systems Review department exposed the dangers, resulting in the commission’s compliance department coming up with measures that reduce the possibility of corruption.