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Kazembe promises urgent review into lockdown expiry learner's licences

by Staff reporter
21 Oct 2020 at 21:41hrs | Views
Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe on Wednesday promised an urgent review after the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) turned away scores of learner drivers whose provisional licences expired during the coronavirus lockdown.

The VID re-opened on Monday for the first time since March, when the government announced a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

Restrictions have been gradually lifted by the government since June, allowing most economic and social activities to resume.

Through Statutory Instrument 144 of 2020, the government extended by six months from March 30 the validity of certain documents including learner's licences, defensive driving certificates and public service vehicle driver retests.

The statutory instrument states: "If the period of validity of a learner's licence expires after the 30th March, 2020, its validity shall be automatically extended from the date of expiry to a date ending 180 days thereafter, or to the date when the national lockdown ends, whichever is the earlier date."

Learner's licences are valid for a year.

With the coronavirus still being treated as a public health emergency and the lockdown yet to be lifted, many learner driver who got their provisional licences after March 2019 are finding themselves falling outside the six-month extension window.

Learner drivers told ZimLive this week that they had been turned away by the VID.

"I went to the VID Mutare to book for a driving test, but I was told that I need to rewrite my provisional. It expired last month," a frustrated driver said.

A provisional licence costs US$15.

Kazembe said he would look into the situation after our enquiries.

"I think it's an issue that needs to be looked at. It's a genuine concern. Nobody thought of it. I will attend to the issue as a whole as I'm sure a lot of people are affected," the minister said on Wednesday.

Source - zimlive