Driving schools get kiss of life

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ZTN Correspondent

Driving schools have welcomed the imminent re-opening of the Vehicle Inspection Department noting that the move will bring relief to a sector that was tethering on the brink of collapse.

Zimbabwe Driving Schools Owners Association national council chairman Prosper Dowa said the re-opening of VID will spur business.

“We are excited, this is the day we have been praying for quite a long time,” he said.

“During this difficult period most of us laid off workers while others closed shop because it had become difficult to meet our obligations.

“But with VID set to open we know that prospective drivers and those drivers who need refresher courses and retesting will be coming through to seek out services before heading to VID. Government has given us a kiss of life.”

However, Dowa warned his members not to let their guard down in the face of Covid-19.

“The imminent re-opening of VID is a result of frank consultations between various stakeholders, including the driving schools who undertook to adhere to the World Health Organisation guidelines when they do business.

“For us to continue fighting Covid-19 while also doing business everyone has to play ball and as an organisation we have a taskforce that will do unannounced spot checks on driving school. Any entity found not to be adhering to the agreed standards will face the consequences,” he said.

Dowa added that the lockdown period has proven to be a blessing in disguise as their interactions with Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, has resulted in improved relations between the two parties.

“I can say we found each other during this period,” he said.

“As driving schools we now appreciate what the Government expects of us and I believe the Second Republic also now understands the unique challenges we face in our operations.

“Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has promised to look into some of the concerns we raised and we are confident that these will be attended to.

“Our confidence is informed by the manner we worked well to make sure that driving schools re-open for business.”

Driving schools shut doors in March when Zimbabwe introduced a lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.