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Govt says it has enough number plate stocks

GOVERNMENT says it now has adequate stocks of vehicle registration plates and will make it mandatory by December for every vehicle to have number plates to reduce cases of hit-and-run by unregistered vehicles.

Transport minister Felix Mhona made the remarks while addressing Parliament on the road carnage recently.

He said the country was set to receive about 151 000 pairs of number places in December and build a supply of over 18 months.

"Let me also take this opportunity to advise the august House that we had a problem of number plates which was quite problematic," Mhona said.

"A number of motorists were just plying routes with unregistered vehicles and some took advantage of that. I am here to announce that we received adequate stocks of number plates this past month."

He added: "According to the information that we have, we have about 35 000 unregistered vehicles and we have received 37 000 pairs of numbers.

"It means that gap is going to be bridged.  However, at the end of October, we are going to receive 151 500 and the consumption of number plates should just give you information."

He said the country's daily demand for number plates was 3 000, translating to 90 000 per month.

"This is what we import after the advent of the statutory instrument that banned cars above 10 years," he said.

"Before that, it was 7 000 to 8 000, so now we are currently importing about 6 000 vehicles.  So, it means we will then have a surplus above that. It means by the end of October, if we then receive our batch for 151 000 for those who can do their mathematics, it means we will have almost close to 18 months' adequate supply of number plates.

"What that entails is that as a ministry, we are saying by the first of December, it will be mandatory for every motorist to have number plates and there is no excuse.  This will also manage the issues of hit and run, those that will take advantage of unregistered vehicles."

He said starting December, "law enforcement agents, together with other departments, will be flat out on our roads and we will not allow motorists to take advantage".

"Whether it is a government vehicle, it must have number plates, and it must be licensed. So I just thought maybe as we go back to our constituencies, we make sure that we also preach the good news that come December, all the vehicles will be having their number plates," he said.

Mhona disclosed that the country experienced over 7 984 road accidents in which 282 people lost their lives and 1 373 got injured in the first quarter of the year. He said his ministry had come up with a strategy to end road carnage which will be rolled out soon.

"It is envisaged that the entire criminal justice system will be linked in future to enable the implementation of the penalty point system which is on the cards under my ministry," he said.

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