The COVID induced closure of the Vehicle Inspection Department that issues driver’s licenses to learners has forced some aspiring drivers to resort to using fake drivers’ licenses in a bid to bypass security checks countrywide, New Zimbabwe reports.
This was revealed by Zimbabwe Driving Schools Owners Association (ZDSOA) which implored the government to allow them to resume operations because according to them schooling and other sectors of the economy have reopened:
It is our concern that some desperate clients are being duped by fraudsters who are issuing fake drivers’ licences to learner drivers who are in need of the documents to secure employment and those who desperately need to drive for business or essential trips authorised under this lockdown.
It has been noted that the prolonged closure of the VID learner testing even though learner’s licences were granted a six months extension has affected preparations for road tests since there is uncertainty surrounding driver testing resumption.
In our previous engagements, it has been put to us that we are classified under teaching and learning. However, we indicated that our learning environment and testing has less exposure. Although we felt that our exposure is lesser as compared to tertiary institutions, we were expecting a resumption of testing when tertiary institutions resumed.
Taking cognisance of the fact that driver training and testing is an essential service to ensure a safe driving environment on our roads, it is anticipated that we will be given dates in due course,” ZDSOA said in a statement. The association submitted to the ministry of transport, the guidelines we are following to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19 and we believe there will be less risk during testing at VID.”
Since our clients are aged 16 years and above, we expect them to be responsible enough to adapt to the measures put in place to safeguard their lives and those of others.
During practical driving lessons, we stand guided by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe regulations which makes it mandatory for a single learner in the vehicle per given time and strictly without passengers. We will also maintain client registers also according to Traffic Safety Council regulations.
“This system can be employed for contact tracing in compliance with WHO standards in the case of transmissions. Our members have been conscientised by the provincial Covid-19 task force teams on the statutory requirements that every formal business is required to fulfil in order to operate.
VID is one of the government departments that was closed as COVID-19 cases spiked in July.
More: New Zimbabwe