575 cars abandoned at VID depots
A TOTAL of 575 vehicles have been abandoned at the country’s 18 Vehicles Inspection Department (VID) depots after their owners disappeared without trace, official documents indicate.
According to the Government Gazette of July 1, 2016, the vehicles owners and their addresses are unknown, meaning that the cars risk being auctioned on September 1 if they are not claimed by then.
Some of the vehicles have been abandoned for about seven years.
“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development has in terms of sections 81(3) as read with sections 3(8) of the Roads and Roads Traffic (Rules of the Road) Regulations, 1974 published in Rhodesia government notice 308 of 1974, that if the motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, particulars of which are given in the schedule are not claimed and removed from the Vehicles Inspection Department depots on or before September 1, they will be sold by public auction,” read the statement inserted in the Government Gazette by Mufaro Gumbie the acting secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Development.
Thousands of unemployed people who purchased vehicles during the hyperinflationary era through a process known then as “burning” that peaked in 2008 might be among the people whose vehicles are parked at VID depots as the current unsustainable economic situation continues to deteriorate.
Under the “burning” process, those who could access foreign currency could change a few United States dollars and make billions of the local currency which they mainly used it to buy vehicles.
Since dollarisation in February 2009, the environment has changed and many of them have been failing to service the cars, pay for licences or afford high spot fines for road traffic offences leading to many moving around without required documentation.
As a result of the crippling economic crisis rocking the country, many vehicle owners have failed to raise money to pay fines for their unroadworthy vehicles, let alone fix them, leading to authorities impounding their cars.
While the vehicles’ registration numbers, type and model of cars, engine numbers and chassis numbers have been captured for the bulk of the vehicles, in some cases, vehicle chassis numbers were not captured because the cars were either locked or they did not exist especially on vehicles that have been recorded as home made. Home made vehicles number about 60.
The abandoned vehicles from the VID depots include 30 from Beitbridge, Belvedere – 22, Bindura – 30, Bulawayo – 88, Chinhoyi – 12, Chiredzi – 21, Chitungwiza – 18, Eastlea in Harare 147, Gwanda – 5, Gweru – 12, Kadoma – 17, Kwekwe – 47, Marondera – 18, Masvingo – 51, Mutare – 28, Plumtree – 7, Victoria Falls – 9 and Zvishavane 13.
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