The Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has contradicted the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the availability of vehicle number plates in the country.
On 15 September this year, ZRP issued a statement advising motorists that all vehicles moving on the roads without number plates will be impounded.
This followed another statement released on 8 September in which the police warned that vehicles without number plates will be seized.
ZRP said they had been formally advised by the Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure that there were adequate stocks of number plates but motorists were reluctant to acquire them.
However, CVR registrar George Makoni told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport, chaired by Shamva North MP Oscar Gorerino (Zanu PF) yesterday that there was a huge backlog of plus or minus 57 000 vehicles that needed number plates.
Makoni revealed that CVR requires US$1 million to manufacture number plates and the money is simply not there. Said Makoni:
From 2005 to 2017, we did not have a problem with manufacturing number plates, but the issue of concern is that the raw materials are procured from outside the country and we require more than US$1 million to manufacture them.
Unfortunately, that money was not made available due to the foreign currency shortages and when we made a request, we got US$200 000 only in 2017, another US$200 000 in 2018 and another US$500 000 was made available in December last year.
Makoni was speaking during a tour of the CVR headquarters in Harare, and also Southern Region Trading Company (Univern) by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport on Monday.
Univern was contracted to manufacture the vehicle number plates.