New Zimbabwe transport management system to improve efficiency

New Zimbabwe transport management system to improve efficiency
Published: 11 September 2018 (436 Views)
Zimbabwe has signed an integrated transport management system, which seeks to bring together five key elements of road policing, efficient use of national infrastructure and coordination of information among relevant government departments.

The development also comes as President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration has set out to provide efficient government services - in line with its "open for business" mantra - and by adopting policies that can help eliminate corruption, and economic growth in the country.

With some aspects of the revolutionary Zimbabwe Integrated Transport Information Management System (Zimtis) on display at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID)'s Zimbabwe Agricultural Show stand recently, Transport secretary George Mlilo said the new system is aimed at fostering efficiency and eliminating corruption.

"We have a lot of operations within the transport system, like the VID, Central Vehicle Registry and all these have been working individually. With the new management system, these are being integrated to speak to each other," he said.

"This is in relation to how many vehicles are licensed, how many are on the road, they will also communicate information about how many have passed on tollgates. That information is now on one system."

Mlilo noted that the system, which is already operational within several government departments, was delayed by a cumbersome procurement process of software from international companies.

Zimtis, which is being spearheaded by a private company, will result in improved cooperation and information sharing between five key departments or law enforcement agencies such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police's traffic department, VID, CVR, revenue body the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and even the computerised issuance of learner's licences.

And observers say the development will go a long way in "taming the jungle that is the country, especially Harare's roads sometimes and stamping out corruption at the VID", which former Transport minister Joram Gumbo once bitterly complained last year.

The digitalisation of the key department will also ensure that Zimbabwe has "competent and qualified drivers on our roads".

Albert Mugabe, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) chairperson, said the new integrated transport management system was a vital cog in the tool box of road safety management.

"With an integrated traffic management system, traffic safety council will be able to make tracks of driver behaviour through the recordings of traffic fines and would also allow us to effect the point system for transgressions by motorists on the road," he said.

Mugabe noted that TSCZ will also be in a position to take appropriate remedial action against serial traffic offenders and unlicensed drivers.

"Unconfirmed reports suggest that a vast number of accidents are occurring where motorists neither have licences nor insured and the victims of these accidents have no recourse, being medical care or in the event of burials," he said.

National police spokesperson Charity Charamba concurred with Mugabe and said the new system will strengthen crime monitoring on the roads.

"It becomes easier to identify criminals as opposed to identifying them manually," she said.

"It will also improve the efficiency of police duties on the road, say someone has been involved in an accident without a licence, it will become easier to apprehend such. The system will also reduce cases of corruption as most processes will be done electronically, so the earlier the system is fully implemented the better," she added.

Zimtis was demonstrated at Harare Agricultural Show where six computers with touch screens were on display and where people could do a computerised learners licence. Stand visitors were able to experience the future and do an actual test and complete it, and immediately get a result of pass or fail. No interventions by an examiner, hence zero room for "negotiation", bribery or corruption.

Also on display was the new eye testing devise and capturing unit that would firstly certify the goodness of one's eyesight before taking the electronic test, and all identification details or particulars of prospective drivers are to be captured through the system - and thus eliminating the need for photos, and hand-written documents, according to VID officials at the stand.

Zimbabweans are not only upbeat and enthusiastic about the new technology, and especially when the Zimtis would be implemented, but it would seem the Transport ministry has taken a leaf or cue from Mnangagwa's spirited calls for programmes to eliminate corruption and truly ensure that "Zimbabwe is open for business".

Just recently, Mnangagwa decried "reckless driving" on the country's roads and suggested "offenders must be punished" after 13 people were killed at the 152-kilometre peg on the Harare-Bulawayo highway.

"Ensuring that all drivers on our roads are licensed correctly and there is accountability is the only way to curb these accidents that cost not only life and limb, but also hundreds of millions dollars a year and leave families without bread winners and loved ones," he said.

Hence, Zimbabwe's Transport ministry has not only "been applauded for taking such a bold, innovative and progressive step" through Zimtis, but the country can easily provide efficient services and attain its easy-of-doing business goals if other departments follow the same route.



- The Financial Gazette

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