THE on-going police blitz targeting unregistered vehicles would not have come at a better time than now when cases of political violence are increasing.
There were chances of politically-motivated kidnappings using those unmarked vehicles also increasing by each day, as elections draw closer.
In the past elections, we had several cases where suspected State security agents and ruling Zanu PF party supporters used unregistered vehicles to abduct opposition activists at night and even in broad daylight, and torturing them before later dumping them at secluded spots.
The public still has fresh memories of how human rights campaigner, Itai Dzamara was abducted and bundled into an unmarked vehicle in 2015. Regrettably, Dzamara was never to be seen again to this day.
We believe that common criminals had also taken advantage of the police’s laxity to enforce the law and went undetected after being involved in hit and run accidents and other traffic-related crimes.
In some cases, some of these unmarked vehicles pass through police checkpoints without much hassle, with others even being used as public transport vehicles.
Surprisingly, the majority of these unregistered vehicles belong to top government officials, chiefs and the ruling Zanu PF party. We, therefore, begin to wonder as to their motive besides short-changing government by not paying the statutory registration and licence fees.
For instance, some of these vehicles end up as passenger vehicles, putting the lives of innocent commuters at high risk should they get involved in road accidents.
Section 6 and 10 of the Vehicle Registration and Licencing Act (Chapter 13:14) makes it mandatory for vehicles, regardless of who the owner is, to be registered and always display their registration marks and numbers.
Responsible drivers know that before driving a vehicle, trailer or motor bike on the road, they must see to it that the vehicle is registered and insured.
Unregistered vehicles, trailers or motor bikes are not allowed to be used or stand on the road.
Police should strictly enforce this law and ensure no vehicle drives on public roads until and unless it is registered and insured for the safety of other road users. Otherwise, our roads would soon be ruled by the law of the jungle.
Our major concern though is that the ongoing blitz, would like many others carried before, die down without tangible results.
We demand that all unregistered vehicles found plying the country’s public roads be impounded and only released after complying with the traffic laws.
If Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga wants the public to believe his mantra that they have reformed and are no longer pliable to bribery, we demand from him that at the end of this operation his charges should release statistics of how many offenders they would have arrested and how much they would have paid in fines and tax to government.