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Zimbabwe driving tests computerised

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Zimbabwe driving tests computerised

The government has intensified the fight against corruption at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and yesterday launched an Electronic Learner’s Licence Testing System to enhance transparency and reduce human involvement in the issuance of drivers’ licences.

The system is expected to be rolled out to all VID depots soon.

Under the new system, prospective drivers are no longer required to bring drivers’ licences photographs as these are captured by the system as part of registering one’s biometrics.

Further, the system is so efficient and convenient that it does the marking automatically upon completion of the test without human involvement.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, who has declared zero tolerance to corruption in line with Vision 2030, launched the new system which was developed under the Zimbabwe Integrated Transport Management Information System (ZIMTIS).

He said the system will curb corruption in a big way and improve efficiency in the issuance of drivers’ licences.

“The security features inherent in the ELLTS also guarantees that fake provisional drivers’ licences and drivers’ licences are eliminated,” he said.

“The system enhances accountability by having added features for audit trails. The testing software has a bank of more than 1 000 questions, which are randomly selected by the computer.

“Therefore, students can never predict which questions they are going to receive and the grading is done as soon as a student completes the final question. This not only cuts down on waiting time but also prevents any kind of corruption between the students and the official on duty, who might accept bribes for passing a student, when they actually failed.

“This integrated system will bring together the strategic components of road traffic and transport management, promote the efficient use of national infrastructure and sharing of information among relevant Government departments and agencies.”

Minister Matiza said the implementation of the ELLTS would enhance road safety and contribute towards the reduction of road carnage.

“Our endeavour is to reduce road traffic crashes and carnage by more than 10 per cent annually through vehicle inspections, driver licensing and axle load control,” he said.

“We also contribute towards economic development through improving the competence of our drivers, roadworthiness of vehicles and protection of road infrastructure.

“As a result, effective drive training and testing, therefore, becomes the cornerstone of our strategy to reduce road carnage.

“Our country cannot continue to lose lives by putting unqualified people, who would have acquired licenses fraudulently thence exposing in perpetuity countless lives to a great risk.

“Likewise, reducing any incidences of rampant corruption in the acquisition of provisional driver licenses and drivers’ licenses is integral to the proactive strategy.

“The ELLTS resonates well with the SADC region’s endeavour to harmonise and standardise driver training and testing requirements within the SADC region.”The Herald

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NEWS

Kembo Mohadi resigns amid sex scandal

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Kembo Mohadi sex scandal

Zimbabwe Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned on Monday following local media reports he had engaged in improper conduct.

Kembo Mohadi, along with Constantino Chiwenga, was a deputy to President Emmerson Mnangagwa since 2018, but without a political power base, he was not seen as a potential successor to the president.

In a rare move by a public official in Zimbabwe, Kembo Mohadi said he had taken the decision to step down “not as a matter of cowardice but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the President”.

I have been going through a soul-searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problem outside the governance chair,” he said in a statement released by the Ministry of Information.

Local online media service ZimLive has in the past two weeks carried reports that Kembo Mohadi had improper sexual liaisons with married women, including one of his subordinates.

Mohadi, 70, denied the accusations last week saying this was part of a political plot against him. On Monday he continued to deny the accusations saying he would seek legal recourse.

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Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers

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Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom

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Chinamasa

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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