A few weeks ago, I lost a high school friend in a horrific car accident. She was driving from Victoria Falls to Hwange, a road that many know to be notorious for causing accidents. Last week a friend lost her sister in an accident in which 15 people passed on. Today the newspapers are reporting another 15 people have died in another horrific accident. Each week, such accidents are making headlines setting 2016 up to become one of the worst years in terms of accident fatalities.
The State of the Roads,
The state of our roads is a major contributing factor on why we have so many road accidents. Many of our highways need to be dualised as these single carriageways are causing a lot of accidents. The state of the roads is appalling especially for busy roads such as the Harare Beitbridge Road.
Legislation is a very good way of changing behaviour. The penalty for accidents whether there are any casualties or not should be so strict as to deter people from committing such offenses. In the West, road penalties are so hefty that drivers ensure that they obey road rules. In Zimbabwe, pedestrians have got no rights and motorists just drive brazenly causing injury and death without any real consequences. In the West, one can cross the road by the pedestrian crossing and be assured that motorists will give you your right of way. This is because running over a pedestrian at a designated crossing carries such stiff penalties, it will ruin the rest of your life.
Deterrent penalties like having licenses revoked are very good at causing good behavior on the road. Our unlimited licenses that are never revoked give drivers a false sense of security so they drive anyhow. If stock theft courts a minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment, why should a driver killer be fined a $100 and get away with murder?
When the only way to get a license is to buy one, we have ourselves a situation where poor drivers are being allowed to drive. The mshikashika drivers are a menace and one wonders how they passed a test at the VID. When a poor driver buys a license and doesn’t understand the gravity of their responsibility on the road, the result is road carnage.
While policemen are busy looking for reflectors on cars, unfit drivers and cars flood our roads. All with reflectors, fire extinguishers and spare tyres. When one has violated a rule of the road, there is no meaningful penalty as the policemen will only require a bribe. Those who break rules get away with it by bribing policemen. While policemen are visible on our roads, the reason they are there is not to deter bad drivers or bad driving, but to make money out of motorists. Policemen should be on the roads to ensure road regulations are followed. Not just money making regulations like ticketing for driving on an amber traffic light, but real policing that improves road safety.
VID and Japenese cars
With the increase in Japanese cars on the roads, the VID needs to formulate policy that will allow for these cars to be inspected and certified roadworthy. Maybe like other countries have done, the simplest solution is to ban the importation of Japanese cars. There have been several reports about the tyres on Japanese cars being unsuitable for our roads, then maybe the VID or licensing department need to ensure that tyres have been changes before a car is licensed.
Accident Investigation and Research
I am currently enrolled on an accident investigation course, although it is an aviation course, I have realised that in aviation we take accidents seriously and study and learn from accidents. We do not just wish them away and we continue to develop and improve our workforce and equipment in order to ensure that mistakes are not repeated. Many developed countries have accident investigation organisations that feed into all modes of transport in order to make transportation safer. Until we know for sure what is the cause of these accidents, we cannot reduce the number of accidents on our roads. For us to find why these accidents are increasing, we need targeted research and an active accident investigation department.
They do say ignorance is bliss. I have travelled to South Africa by coach and am shocked to find the attitudes of certain passengers. Conversations normally go like, ‘ driver so and so of bus so and so can move, you will get to Harare very quickly’. Like the saying goes, arrive alive. The important thing is to arrive alive, yet some passengers are impressed by driver who speed. Drivers who speed put their passengers and other road users at risk and they should not be encouraged.
There are various other reasons for the surge in road accidents some of which are vehicle maintenance and congestion in our cities.
Finding solutions to the death toll is not to point fingers at any organisation or institution, but is to create a safe transport system. In my view, there are many reasons why the road accidents are increasing, but it finding the underlying factors will lead to resolution of the problems.
Renewing a Zimbabwean Passport at the Zimbabwe Embassy is a breeze if you have all the required documents. It is wiser to renew your passport 12 months or 8 months before the expiry date. Most countries require a passport to be at least 6 months valid in order to issue or renew an Employment Permit.
This article is divided into 5 Sections:
1. Documents to bring to the Zim Embassy
2. What the Embassy will do
3. Documents to Send to Zimbabwe
5. What You Will Collect
Documents to Bring to the Zim Embassy:
To renew your Zimbabwean Passport from a foreign country that you are currently residing in, you must visit the Zimbabwe Embassy or High Commission with the following original documents and their photocopies where applicable:
1- Zimbabwe National Identity Card – Plastic ID card + 1 x black/white photocopies of both sides
2- Long Birth Certificate + 1 x black/white photocopy.
3- Current Passport. This will be your old passport if it has already expired. Also make photocopies of your current passport as follows:
– 1 x black/white photocopy of back page of your passport. This is the hard covered back page of your passport containing your passport photo, passport number, signature, expiry date, date of issue, identity number, fingerprint and other personal details.
– 1 x black/white photocopy of your latest VISA and residential permit (e.g. Work Permit) that is stamped in your passport.
4- If you are married, then you will also need to bring your Marriage Certificate and a National Identity Card with your new marriage name + 1 x black/white photocopy of each document. Divorced persons should also bring a Divorce Order + 1 x photocopy.
5- 2 x Passport size colour photos (3.5 x 4.5) cm.You must wear black clothes on your upper body and the photo should taken behind a white background. Your face and hair must be natural – avoid dreads, locks, braids and face ornamentation like earings, nose rings, tattoos and lip rings.
6- If you are sending the documents to your family or relatives in Zimbabwe via a courier (e.g. DHL or FEDEX) so that they can submit the application for you, then you should write a Letter of Submission and a Letter of Collection explaining why you won’t be physically available to submit and collect the documents personally. You must take these two letters with you to the Zim Embassy so that they can be stamped. I will show you later on, how to write a letter of submission and a letter of collection.
Please note that it is IMPORTANT to have all the documents above before you go to the Embassy. This will save time for many expatriate and foreign-based Zimbabweans who are new to the passport renewal procedure outside of Zimbabwe. It will help you avoid many unnecessary trips to and from the Embassy just because you forgot to bring some of the required documents. In case you don’t have some of the required documents above, then you should consult the Zim Embassy for special advice. Now that you have all the documents mentioned above, you should go to the Zimbabwe Embassy to get your Passport Application Form.
|Passport Application Form|
Documents the Embassy will Give You & What they will Do
When you bring the above documents to the Zim Embassy, the following will happen:
1. The Embassy will give you a Passport Application Form “Application for a Zimbabwe Passport”.
2. They will take your fingerprints on the back page of the application form.
3. The cost of the Application Form and Fingerprints is R200.00 which is equivalent to R200.00 (South African Rands).You must pay in cash at the Embassy and they will give you a receipt.
4. The Embassy will certify photocopies of your Passport, Birth certificate and National ID Card.
5. The cost of certifying is $10.00 or R100.00.You must pay in cash at the Embassy and they will give you a receipt. You get one receipt for the Application form, Fingerprints and Certification, so the total cost is R300.00.This receipt will be stamped and signed by the Zim Embassy.
6. The Embassy will sign your Letter of Submission and Letter of Collection and put a stamp of approval on each of your letters.
7. The Embassy will give you a form (a questionnaire) to be filled by the applicant.
After the above procedure, the embassy will give you back your original documents and certified photocopies, as well as the receipt, passport application form,questionnaire,letter of submission and collection. You must make photocopies of your receipt and keep them. Your receipt is required as proof of payment. Do not lose it.
Documents to Send to Zimbabwe
When you get your things done at the Embassy, you will be required to send your documents to your family or relatives in Zimbabwe. Your family member or relative who is required to have the same surname as you should submit the documents for you at the Passport Office in Harare or Bulawayo. You can send your documents to Zimbabwe via DHL or FEDEX.DHL is the widely used and trusted courier. Your family member or relative must bring his or her ID for identification on submitting and collecting the documents at the Passport Office.
The following are documents to send to Zimbabwe. The assistant at the Zimbabwe Embassy will help you organize your documents and attach them accordingly.
1. Passport Application Form with fingerprints. You must fill the form.
2. Inside the passport application form, you will attach the following documents with a paper clip:
– Original letter of Submission (signed and stamped by the Embassy)
– Original letter of Collection (signed and stamped by the Embassy)
– Original Receipt (for passport form, fingerprints and certifying) – signed and stamped by the Embassy.
– Certified photocopy of your Passport (certified by the Embassy)
– Certified photocopy of your National Identity Card (certified by the Embassy)
– Certified photocopy of your Long Birth Certificate (certified by the Embassy)
– 2 x Passport size colour photos (3.5 x 4.5) cm inside a small envelope.
– Questionnaire to be filled by the applicant.
3. Your Current or Expired Passport. If your passport is lost, then you must consult the Zim Embassy for special advice.
Expenses of Renewing, Sending and Collecting Your Passport: (Zim Embassy)
Passport Application Form and Fingerprints – R200.00
Document Certifying – R100.00
3 Day Passport – US$315.00
1 to 2 Week Passport – US$250.00
1 Month Passport – US$50.00
DHL (Country X to Zimbabwe) – R350.00 (it depends)
DHL (Zimbabwe to Country X) – R700.00 (it depends)
What You will Collect
When your passport application has been processed and completed, you will receive your new passport along with your old passport. Your family or relatives in Zimbabwe will send the documents to you via DHL.
Conclusion: I hope Zimbabweans living abroad will be satisfied with the above steps to renew a Zimbabwean Passport at the Zim Embassy.
|Address||13A Boeing Road West
Bedfordview, Johannesburg 2007
|Phone||local: (011) 838.2156
|Fax||local: (011) 838.5620