The highway code could soon be available in all the country’s 16 official languages to allow prospective driver’s licence holders to write their provisional licence tests in their vernacular.
The 2013 Constitution recognises Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Khoisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa as official languages in Zimbabwe.
Currently, Zimbabwe’s provisional driver’s licence tests are conducted only in English.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, told Parliament on Wednesday that the tests will also be in a pictorial format to cater for the illiterate. Mhona said:
After translating the Highway Code into all the languages, when attempting their (learner drivers) tests, they will use their language of choice.
If you learnt in English, you will also write the test in English, nothing will change.
For those who are illiterate in the SADC region, we are going to use the pictorial form for road signs.
He also said Midlands State University (MSU) has been contracted to translate the Highway Code.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira said those tasked with the translation process will be done by end of this year.