The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has introduced new vehicle licence discs with more security features as part of efforts to curb the illegal reproduction of the permits.
This follows indications the administration was last year prejudiced of up to US$15 million in potential revenue through rampant printing of counterfeit discs. Zinara corporate communications executive Mr Augustine Moyo last week said the new discs will be rolled out this week. He said motorists would also, with immediate effect, be required to licence vehicles quarterly. Previously, licensing was done either annually or quarterly.
"We have added a new holographic security feature which cannot be forged or manipulated," he said.
"This move is meant to assist us curb rampant printing of vehicle licence discs. The current system is manual and has weaknesses.
"It would help us to have a watertight system when it comes to vehicle licensing. This will also increase revenue inflows, translating into bigger allocations to road authorities."
Mr Moyo said the road administrator last year collected US$25 million from vehicle permits against potential revenue of US$40 million.
He said the country has an estimated vehicle population of 800 000. However, of these, only 478 000 were licensed authentically.
"In 2011, we sold 478 000 vehicle licence discs through Zimpost (Zimbabwe Posts) and Zinara.
He added that his institution would work with police to bring counterfeit vehicle licence permit dispensers to book. Mr Moyo said Zinara, which also collects revenue through tollgate and fuel levies, raked in US$80 million last year.
"Last year, we collected US$80 million and redirected it towards road and routine maintenance.
He said Zinara was battling to maintain roads because the existing network has exceeded its lifespan.
"Our road network is very old. It should be appreciated that maintaining an old asset is expensive.
"Some of these roads were constructed over 40 years ago, yet the lifespan of a road is 20 years.
"This means almost the entire road network now requires rehabilitation and not only the routine maintenance which is being done now."