NGO calls for the reversal of vehicle licence penalties

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) has called on the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) to suspend penalties for motorists who failed to renew their vehicle licences by March 31, 2020, saying this was largely due to the national lockdown.
This comes as Zinara is demanding $150 in penalty fees from motorists who failed to renew their licences in the stipulated period.
In a statement, the Forum indicated that it had written to Zinara demanding the reversal of the penalty fee.
“The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration is demanding penalties of $150 from motorists who failed to renew their vehicle licences by the 31st of March 2020, when the licence registration term expired.
“Zinara closed its offices from March 30, 2020 when the lockdown commenced, and remained closed until May 4.
“As a result, members of the public whose vehicle licences expired on March 31, 2020 were unable to renew,” the Forum said.
“The Forum has since written to Zinara demanding a reversal of the penalties for those affected by the lockdown.
“In particular, the Forum noted in the communication to Zinara that Zinara placed an advert in the local media advertising few places in Harare only where licensing of motor vehicles could be done during the lockdown period.
“However, only motorists with vehicles engaged in essential services, or those permitted to move by the regulations could renew their licences,” the Forum added.
The Forum further raised concern over the lack of knowledge exhibited by people, especially those in rural areas, on wearing masks and practising social distancing as mandated by the government in efforts to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19).
“Several people were arrested across the country for violating the requirement to wear masks in public.
“In Zvishavane, about 50 people were arrested for not wearing masks while in Gweru nine people were arrested for moving around without masks. In Zaka, community members were not allowed to access Jerera Growth Point without face masks.


“In Nyanga North, Member of Parliament Chido Sanyatwe convened a meeting with all village heads and Zanu PF ward structures. Social distancing was not observed and participants were not wearing masks.
“This is an indication that the government should do more to raise awareness on the importance of wearing masks and practising social distancing in the fight against Covid-19,” the Forum said.

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