Thandeka Matebesi, Sunday News Reporter
THE Insurance Council of Zimbabwe has digitalised its operations to ensure that that owners and operators of public transport prioritise passenger safety.
In an interview last week, ICZ marketing and public relations consultant Miss Ringisai Batiya said owners and operators of public transport will only be issued with operating permits if they have passenger insurance.
“ICZ has automated the issuance of cover notes for passenger insurance also known as Passenger Personal Accident Policy (PAPP). The system is now such that an operator cannot be issued an operating permit without having taken out passenger insurance proved by an automated cover note printed only by RMT department under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
“We believe that the automation of the passenger insurance cover notes will increase the number of compliant operators much to the relief of passengers,” said Miss Batiya.
She said motor insurance claims have sharply increased as a result of road accidents and called upon police to assist in ensuring compliance among operators.
“As reported by our members, motor insurance claims have spiked due to road traffic accidents and bad road behaviour on the part of the drivers.
“We are calling on law enforcement agencies to play their part in ensuring compliance as some operators choose to operate without permits and insurance cover,” she said.
She added: “ICZ is involved in campaigns aimed at educating operators and passengers about the benefits of the passenger insurance cover.”
Miss Batiya also said it was a punishable offence for one to operate without insurance and many operators were still not compliant despite efforts to ensure compliance.
“All public service vehicle operators are required to have insurance for each of their vehicles as per Road Traffic Act Chapter 13: 11 and Road Transportation Act Chapter 13:15. The law enforcement structures such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) prescribe the appropriate penalties for offenders. It remains a challenge that some operators are not compliant in terms of having insurance cover for their passengers as required by the law,” she said.
Meanwhile ICZ conveyed condolences to the families of those who died in the Chawasarira bus and commuter omnibus accident which occurred on a few weeks ago along Bulawayo-Kadoma road.
In a statement, ICZ said it was saddened by the incident and pledged support to the bereaved families.
“The Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) has learnt with great shock and sadness of the Chawasarira bus and commuter omnibus accident which occurred on 30 August 2018 at the 152 km peg near Kadoma tollgate along the Bulawayo-Kadoma road, in which all commuter omnibus passengers lost their lives and surviving passengers from the Chawasarira bus suffered from varied degrees of injuries.”