Motorists who spoke to The Standard said they were spending many hours queuing to get the new licence discs and criticised the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) for lack of forward planning.
A Harare motorist, Artwel Sibanda, who was queuing with hundreds of other motorists at Borrowdale Post Office, said getting the new licence discs had become a daunting task as people were spending up to eight hours without being served.
He bemoaned alleged poor planning by Zinara which had failed to foresee problems of phasing out old discs before putting in place proper and effective mechanisms to help in the change over to the new system.
Sibanda said he had tried and failed to get the new discs at Causeway and Newlands post offices due to long queues and chaotic scenes.
“Considering the number of motorists that want to get the new discs and the few designated points available, Zinara is doing a disservice to the people,” he said.
Other motorists also complained that there were only two tellers serving hundreds of people in a process which was slow and labourious.
The elderly, sick and disabled also complained that they were not being given first preference as they queued along with able bodied motorists.
Journalist Ropafadzo Mapimhidze, who is diabetic, said she had to skip meals in order to keep her place in a queue.
“Right now, I am still trying to recover from the ordeal,” she said. “I suffered a great deal just to register my vehicle and no special care was given to me as I suffer from a chronic condition.”
Mapimhidze said she was only served after six hours when a “kind gentleman” sacrificed his spot in the queue.
Post offices such as the one in Borrowdale last week had only two tellers serving over 300 people at a “snail’s pace”.
Zinara corporate communications executive, Augustine Moyo, attributed the chaotic scenes to Zimpost, which he said should have been prepared for the new system.
“I won’t speak for Zimpost, but I think they should have been ready enough for the computerisation process,” he said. “Another challenge is that the selected points are located in residential areas and as a result rampant power cuts have stalled the exercise in areas such as Waterfalls and Newlands.”
Zinara has since bought generators to speed up the exercise. The administration phased out the old vehicle registration disc that has now been replaced by an improved licence disc with enhanced security features.
Zinara claims it was losing millions of dollars in potential revenue annually to a well-connected syndicate of people who were producing fake discs.
The body has so far registered 350 000 out of an estimated 800 000 vehicles in the country.