More woes for car importers

HARARE - Zimbabweans wishing to import cars could be forced to part with at least $200 on an import permit as the cash-strapped Zanu PF-led government desperately seeks various ways to boost its empty coffers.

Information gathered by the Daily News this week reveals that the ministry of Industry and Trade is currently working on a motoring policy aimed at tapping into the hugely-popular used car imports by levying an additional fee on potential buyers.

“The ministry is currently finalising the draft policy document which would still have to go through the normal processes before it is gazetted,” said sources close to the development.

The sources noted that the policy was likely to be acceded to without any hassle because the government is desperately in need of additional funds.

The planned policy development by government is likely to increase the cost of car importation into the country after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently indicated that car import duty would be significantly increased with effect from November this year.

Used cars import duty currently stands at an average of 85 percent of the value of the vehicle.

Since the introduction of the multiple currency system in 2009, Zimbabweans have resorted to importing second-hand vehicles, mainly from Japan, as they are cheaper than those assembled locally.

However, there have been persistent calls by local car manufactures to ban used car imports, which they say have contributed to the demise of the local car industry.

Industry minister Mike Bimha, who has in the past also blamed the woes of struggling car assembler Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and Quest Motors on the hugely-popular and affordable used cars, professed ignorance of the regulation on the motoring policy.

“I cannot comment on policies that I have not announced. I have never issued a statement on that, but we are working on a motoring policy, which is still work in progress,” Bimha said in response to a Daily News inquiry.

According to the Zimbabwe National Road Administration , Zimbabwe’s vehicle population now stands at

1,2 million, up from about 800 000, the bulk of them being grey imports.

Zimbabwe continues to battle a trade deficit, with exports totalling  $1,2 billion compared to $1,5 billion last year during the period January to June, with imports for the first half of the year relatively high at $3 billion compared to 3,9 billion prior year.

Comments (9)

hatimiri kudzitenga chero tiri muUsa chete

zvamahara - 24 September 2014

i am sure the government is playing nhodo with us especially after they have realised that we are a docile bunch of people. lets stop importing cars for at least two months to force government to reverse the hike in import duty. by so doing we will be suffocating the maine source of governrment revenue. i know for some it will be like shooting themselves in the foot since there livelihood is dependent on car sales but lets look at the long term benefits. the south african mine workers went on strike for more than 5 months just to get their demands met.

haya - 25 September 2014

its really sad what happening here instead of creating employment from which to grow the revenue base and hence more taxes into the government coffers we trying as hard as we can to squeeze water from a rock, it doesn't work and it has never worked.Everyday u read stories in the Herald the coming of the Chinese currency will ease the liquidity crunch that was March it's not nearing October what happened Herald please tell us.

jackson dube - 25 September 2014

The problem is that the MPs we voted for are not affected much by most of these policies hence they do not bother to speak on our behalf. They get these cars for free.

chris - 25 September 2014

If the government was making all such efforts to get money to put to good use then at least we would not complain much. They are now looking at each and every channel where money is involved to squeeze and milk out by charging taxes on everything from the vendor selling tomatoes, our paltry salaries, airtime, VAT, sales tax, surcharges on fuel, toll gates, permits, corruption, bribes....... All this so that they can purchase and dish out luxury vehicles to each in other in addition to oiling up the rigging machine that's already in progress.

Dr Know - 25 September 2014

It is very unfortunate that we have a Government which is very incensere and is always wanting to take advantage of the population to make monies clandestinely. Cars from Japan must not be increased or stopped however local products must be brought down and not be as expensive as they are out of reach for locals here.

Mendeka - 25 September 2014

It is very unfortunate that we have a Government which is very incensere and is always wanting to take advantage of the population to make monies clandestinely. Cars from Japan must not be increased or stopped however local products must be brought down and not be as expensive as they are out of reach for locals here.

Mendeka - 25 September 2014

It is very unfortunate that we have a Government which is very incensere and is always wanting to take advantage of the population to make monies clandestinely. Cars from Japan must not be increased or stopped however local products must be brought down and not be as expensive as they are out of reach for locals here.

Mendeka - 25 September 2014

Instead of wasting time by making things harder for hard working people why not address the issue of vehicle ownership change by charging reasonable amounts even between $50-$100 this would encourage people to change ownership. Imagine the impact that this would have on the million plus vehicles in Zimbabwe

mujoni - 25 September 2014

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