Banning second hand car imports not fully thought out

THE government, has for the second time in eight years, mooted the idea of banning second hand car imports, an idea that is not fully thought out and needs to be dropped in its infancy.

While this time the government says the importation of second hand cars will be phased out over a period of time, it is important to point out that this is tantamount to dealing with symptoms rather than the disease and its causes.

If the government is serious about saving foreign currency by stopping the importation of second hand vehicles, then the authorities should put their money where their mouths are and stop importing expensive vehicles, which are driven by ministers and legislators.

In that regard, the government should make it a policy that it only buys vehicles from local assemblers of cars and bars public officials from buying from other producers.

This way, the government would have supported the local industry in the biggest possible way, as the public sector is the biggest employer and single largest purchaser of vehicles.

However, we are not holding our breath, as the country’s rulers have a penchant for expensive European and Japanese cars, which the rest of the country can only dream about.

Government authorities only seem to want to be the only ones who are able to afford cars, while the rest of the country has to look on in envy.

Secondly, it is important for the government to know that every Zimbabwean desires to drive a new car, but its is beyond their pockets.

Instead of rushing to ban imports, the government must ensure that there is cheap and readily available financing for new vehicles, which will make imports less appealing.

Interest rates on loans and financing for cars is exorbitant and without second hand cars, most Zimbabweans could never dream of driving nor owning vehicles.

Thus, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha and his colleagues in government should not be preoccupied with banning imports, but ensuring that local products are available and affordable.

We saw it with Statutory 64 of 2016, which banned the importation of several products with local equivalents, which was supposed to protect Zimbabwean industries and make local products more affordable, but had disastrous consequences, which the government is too ashamed to admit.

Since the SI was put in place, prices of basics have soared and local industry’s capacity utilisation has declined drastically.

The simple message is that protectionism does not work and the government needs to be more innovative if it is to grow the local car industry.

27 Comments

  1. SUPPORT LOCAL INDUSTRIES, you must be joking, that’s the last thing on this Government’s mind, it would solve too many problems & provide work, taxes & make people too happy

  2. Comment…Majority of Zimbabweans can not afford to buy new cars because of low dispoable income.

  3. they are still where they were with Mugabe, If you are too full its hard to imagine that there could be someone almost dying of hunger. Kuba munonyanya maZanu ,,in your minds Zimbabwe is a rich country where everyone can afford a brand new car. We wont vote for you nomatter what

  4. Whoever is bringing back this useless and wicked topic is on G40 payroll, Ngwena must be very very vigilant. Was jona the only one on CIA payroll?

  5. IDEAS MUTED IN COCKTAIL BARS WHILST SMOCKING SOMETHING AND DRINKING WHISKY. MOST JAPANESE IMPORTS RANGE AROUND US$3-4000. WHAT LOCALLY PRODUCED ALTERNATIVES WILL EVER BE THERE TO REPLACE THIS? UNLESS OFCAUSE IF THEY SIMPLY JUST HATE ORDINARY CITIZENS DRIVING

  6. Mr mnangagwa is genuine about bringing changes to our lives but most of the ministers in his cabinet will destroy that dream. These ministers feel so comfortable in their illgotten wealth. They dont understand why anyone in his/her right mind would drive a second hand car instead of buying new ford, benz, vw, bmw, toyota etc. The truth is these ministers have grown so rich through corruption that they are totally blind to the suffering in the country. Mike bimha you are a disgrace just like grace

    1. cool comment and i am made to believe that this guy ndisekuru vaGrace

    2. MY 2 CARS ARE FORD FALCONS 19YRS OLD & WILL LAST FOR MANY MORE

  7. I genuinely believe it may be a solution despite the fact that it may be difficult in the short term for the poor.

    however we have to start somewhere to solve this job issue in Zim,

    Part of the reason Zim is in shambles is the leaders and their citizens wanting the easiest way out of problems.”kicking the can down the road”.

    I think they should halt all imports of used cars

    1. Trust u cnt be trusted,i bet even yo mind cnt even trust u to the extent of havin u think tht its in Zimboz nature to want the easy way out of problems,cz one can buy wat he affords wc isnt afforded to the vast locals,u must make an objective subjective analysis so tht yo mind can trust u to use it

  8. vanopenga avo if willowvale can provide a car at $4 000 then we can talk musarwadziwe nekuti vanhu vari kuita mota dai maMANSIONS amunogara aiiwanikwa at $ 5 000 taimatengawo kunze kwenyika ikoko. ZVOSE U IMPORT ZURO CHAIYE BHONA AKAZVARIRA MWANA KUNZE KWENYIKA , VANA VENYU FOREGN DEGREES IS TICHIISA VEDU KU MSU AND NUST OR UZ KUZVARA TINOOENDA KU MKOBA CLINIC OR MATENDA CLINIC IN ZVISHAVANE, SAKA ARI KUPEDZA FOREX NDIYANI APA

  9. There’s hardly a thinking through of many issues with this administration. Too disconnected with reality is this party.

  10. #TRUST

    WHO SAID YOU HAVE TO START SOMETHING IN ORDER UO FIX THE OTHER. SOMETIMES JUST BUILDING ON WHATEVER IS THERE GIES FURTHER. YOU CAN BAN IMPORT OF CARS, MABHERO, BASIC FOOD ETC MY BET IS YOU NOT CREATE ONE EXTRA JOB BUT GUARANTEED WE WILL GO BACK TO EATING EXPENSIVE RICE AND CHICKEN ON XMAS DAY ONLY. DONT FIX WHATS NOT BROCKEN

  11. Used cars should not be imported into Zim. We should bring in new cars, locally assemble new vehicles and by so doing, create locally used cars down the road. You cannot develop this country by a mass importation of other people’s used items, clothes, bicycles, cars and everything else. The writer of this article must be on the pay role of car sales companies and exporters of second hand cars to think that Zimbabweans must only drive second hand vehicles. Instead, he or she should be arguing for the availing of mortgage finance so that local people in government and elsewhere can buy new cars on hire purchase as is the case in South Africa. Writer should also be arguing for sensible, ethical practices from local businesspeople, not speculative pricing, profit shifting by transfer pricing, being eternal crybabies over any and all excuses that one can think of from the book, and prioritisation of immediate populist consumerist patterns over longterm developmental ideas.
    It is this misunderstanding by local traders and journalists, that locals must enjoy now at the expense of their future, which facilitated the mass importation of second hand clothes to the demise of cloth and clothing industries in Chegutu, Kadoma, Gweru and Bulawayo.
    The writer here is concerned more about attacking a government and political party that he/she doesn’t like more than being interested in what is good for the overall development of the local economy and the public good.
    Ministers and MPs buy from local traders like Croco and Zimoco. They don’t import themselves. MPs have one car per person in five years and their total would not go beyond two million dollars in that time. The comparison with four to six hundred million dollars per year of car imports from the rest of the country is singularly absurd.
    Badly thought out imports after Independence killed off Zisco, Sable Chemicals and other fertiliser producers, Cold Storage Commission, shoe manufacturers, WRS/Supersonic and other radio and tv producers; plus many other sectors.
    To hell with this kind of poor journalism.

    1. we should encourage inventiveness instead of adopting protectionism of redundant industry!

    2. LOCAL TRADERS ARE NOT MANUFACTURERS. CROCO AND ZIMOCO ARE IMPORTING FINISHED PRODUCTS. ITA MUSHE PROPHET WENHEMA

    3. Comandante-en-Jefe

      what you wrote is rubbish. Those people are driving NEW vehicles because they were purchased using tax-payers money or from their LOOT. People are buying the ex-Japs because that’s what they can afford. DO WE HAVE CAR MANUFACTURES IN ZIM. Stop this “local nonsense”. Lets support LOCAL PEOPLE not “local Car dealers”. Croco and Zimoco are not car manufacturers.

  12. BIMHA should be simply get FIRED if at all we are to make progress in this economy. He is a disaster to Zimbabwe

  13. @ kaguvi.the reality of successful industry involves minor pain in the short term.besides look at all the developed countries around us,with our beloved neighbour SouthAfica who happen to protect their local automobile sector.

    that protectionism brought along a thriving local auto sector in the country.

  14. Comment…simple ma company acho arutengesa mota kunze ngangouya muno avhure muno .munovanyimirei ma licence.then isu tongozotenga mota dzacho kwavari ivo vari muno mari haichabudi kunze

  15. Competing with Japan, America, UK, SA etc ummm that is a very difficult task. We should be able to export these cars if we are to be successful in this Hon Minister.

  16. The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe’s economy is down. Manufacturing is below capacity utilisation, unemployment is more than 80%, yet they are talking of banning second hand cars which are carrying people to date. The salaries are very low, for example a person who earns $400, how long does he need to save to buy a cheapest car in Zimbabwe which is going for $13000? If he can save $200 every month he will save $2000 in a year, roughly he need seven years to buy that, and this is not realistic, its painful actually.
    It is best that cars and other machinery must be manufactured in Zimbabwe which will create employment for the masses, but the manufacturer also look at the market if the people can afford to buy those cars. They cannot just give a licence to a country where they know that only hundred cars will be bought. That is why most countries are not manufacturing because the market is small. We used to manufacture some of the top brands in country and what did we do with it, we destroyed them.
    According to statistics, the new cars that were bought last year it’s about 3000 cars,and I am likely to believe the bulk of those cars went to government, NGOs, companies and a handful to individuals. In South Africa, top selling brands can manage the number of sales we are achieving in a year,in just a month. Frankly speaking, we don’t need to copy rich countries without proper work on the ground.
    But I will like the part I like about those second hand cars. Zimbabwe’s rank of one thousand people per vehicle is now 114 cars per 1000, which makes Zimbabwe number six or seven in Africa overall. Otherwise if second hand vehicles were not allowed we maybe having 8 vehicles per 1000 people. So that is the good which is brought by these cars that our rank has risen. We all want new things but I hope it will happen gradually.

  17. There is everything wrong with the kind of thinking that produces such supposed solutions. It’s the same kind of thinking that says we should demolish dilapidated structures in Mbare, rather than think in terms of building better accommodation and moving people there, then you can destroy the structures when irrelevant.

    Sort out the public transport system, upgrade it so people choose to use that than drive to work. That’s how first world nations have done it. Next have local assembly and eventually local manufacturing of vehicles, coupled with local financing schemes. People will naturally choose to buy a new vehicle locally if the financing scheme is right, compared to importing a second hand vehicle.

    The approach the Minister wants to take is not only callous and hare-brained, but is not even aimed at solving problems but merely making people’s lives harder – for nothing.

  18. Thank you for saying it as it is. The idea of banning used cars imports is the most oppressive idea this govt could come up with. All these ministers drive imported cars, Duty Free and New cars for that matter. They are happy to be worshipped by the people on the side roads. Exactly what they did
    during the Mugabe era. We have to stop this Zimbabweans.

  19. More posts of this qultyai. Not the usual c***, please

  20. was it a japan used car , my kids would never have the feeling of driving own car and only enjoy tedious combi rides ,so to hell with you and your boggled idea ,mend the industry 1st and make life luxurious and affordable for automobiles sourcing then ban also the chefs buying expensive cars abroad ,who say banning them will mend the economy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *