Zinara announced the deadline for the discs as May 31 and then allowed a grace period ending June 30, taking into consideration the chaotic scenes at post offices where thousands failed to register in time.
Strangely, the body made a quick U-turn last week, scrapping the grace period and instructing the police to arrest motorists who failed to display the new discs.
Not surprisingly, there was little support for Zinara’s antics, both from the motorists, who have to queue for long periods, and the police, who should enforce the new system.
Zinara’s actions were without doubt unreasonable. To expect motorists to acquire licences when post offices cannot cope with the demand was akin to expecting the impossible to happen.
And for Zinara to arbitrarily scrap the June 30 extension deadline was the height of lunacy for a public body that should be sensitive to people’s concerns.
What this debacle exposed was the glaring bankruptcy of leadership at Zinara. Officials charged with administering Zinara affairs proved incapable of making sound judgement even on matters that are clearly straightforward.
The computerised system of acquiring the disks also needed to be simplified and efforts made to bring in more personnel to deal with thousands of motorists who thronged post offices across the country on a daily basis.
The way Zinara management handled the matter mirrored the lack of planning, confusion and leadership deficit that blights most parastatals.
Interestingly, Zinara is the same body that is responsible for revenue collected from tollgates. Despite the millions of dollars the body has collected since tolling was introduced, our roads still bear the same signs of disrepair they have borne for years.
Quote of the week
“We should have security sector re-alignment, let me make it clear, this is not a creation of externals. It is part of the Global Political Agreement and it must be implemented before elections are held,” Lindiwe Zulu, President Zuma’s international relations advisor on Zimbabwe elections.