Potholes, Honda Fit drivers, service fees & all the headaches of owning a car in Zim

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
vehicles, import vehicles, second-hand car ban, ZIMRA, Ministry of Transport, ex-Jap radio, clearance, clear, import scam, second-hand car import fee

Owning a car in Zim is a bit of an extreme sport. There are no easy breaks because importing one can be a nightmare and getting one locally comes at a ridiculous premium. After getting your car you’ll have to contend with the cost of that first service. This can be a pleasurable experience if the previous owner met all the service intervals or a money pit if they treated the car like a disposable asset.

Once on the road, you’ll have to contend with mushikashikas and Honda Fit drivers who think the road belongs to them. These specimens usually create lanes where none exist, as if everyone who is in the traffic jam is somehow stupid. The only reason traffic is backed up is because road infrastructure was not developed to remain in step with the influx of vehicles. Furthermore, we have a near non-existent public transport system meaning that the only way to consistently get from A to B is by saving up and getting an Ex-Jap.

On top of all of that, the roads themselves are so poorly maintained that everyone looks like they are warming their tires readying themselves for the F1 safety car to go back into the pits.

We had a conversation about these topics and more with some prices and the likes on buying a “new to you” car, the cost to maintain it and even more pain points about owning a car in Zim.

You can listen to or download the podcast with the link below. Alternatively, you get a copy by sending the message “podcast” to 0717 684 274 on WhatsApp

Subscribe & listen to Technikari on these podcast sites & apps

You should also check out these episodes of Technikari

Our conversation with Gwinyai Nyatsoka, the CTO of US-based software development firm Cobbles, who is looking to teach local developers how to gain access into the remote developer market.

Gwinyai Nyatsoka: CTO for a US tech firm who wants to teach local devs how to do the same remotely

Zimbabwe’s drone expert, Tawanda Chihambakwe invited us out to an event where he was pitching drone tech to ZESA. After that presentation we had a chat about drone adoption in Zimbabwe, operating environment challenges and what he has planned for the future.

Zim’s drone expert talks about manufacturing plans & problems with local operating environment

We spoke to Matt Coquillon the co-founder of Mama Money about how the remittance service started and its links with the Zimbabwean Diaspora.

Mama Money: the social impact money transfer service



What’s your take?

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

  1. Juno

    Most definitely an extreme sport. My fitbit always thinks I have done strenuous activity after 20 minutes in Zim traffic.

  2. Bar-Fly

    “What would be a road hazard anywhere else, in Zimbabwe, it is the road!” (slight alteration from PJ O’Rourke’s “Holidays in Hell”. Not surprising though, considering who’s still in charge… Oh, and there’s also no hope whatsoever of improvement for some time to come!

    1. Tugwi

      Some roads have been rehabilitated so much so that it is now a pleasure for some of us to get from point A to B. However, the good effort is yet to reach many feeder roads – if one still wants to refer to them as “roads”..

  3. Anonymous

    WELL SAID Valentine. Maita

  4. Reshon Sanaz

    Importing a vehicle from Japan to Zim is nightmare how? What are difficulties you would face.

    1. Anonymous

      Money. To pay for duty.

      1. Anonymous

        Why would you import something when you definitely know you don’t have money to pay for duties

  5. Captain Jack Sparrow

    Worthless articles 🤪🤪🤪 Reading this was a waste of time hapana kana chataurwa chinemusoro….musoeobhangu Valentine if you have nothing to o write better you keep silent

  6. 🤷🏾‍♂️

    The point was to introduce the podcast episode, not to provide a full treatise.

  7. Ryan Mash

    I don’t think you are being fair on honda fit drivers. I have one I use for local run arounds, I have seen horrible drivers from range rover drivers to honda fit drivers so to point at honda fits is unfair. One of the driving style of Zimbabweans is we go on the road as if we don’t know where we are going so we end up driving at 20km/hr causing pain to other drivers, that is when you see mishikashika guys doing those horrible things, imagine if we all drive at at least 60km/hr those mishika shika guys will also flow with the traffic. Our biggest problem are bad drivers not which type of car one drives

    1. ghettoyout

      Honda fit drivers and all other mushikashika drivers are a menace on the roads. They have their demands to meet and their daily targets puts all the pressure on them and thereby endangering all other road users.
      Yes, they may other bad drivers but these mushikashikas are plain reckless

  8. Kelvin

    Honda Fit kudiiko? Iwe munyori shandisa brain kwete kungonyora. Kutadza kunyora kuti makombi driver nemushika-shika, vanotozivikanwa kuti ndivo vanokonzeresa paroad. A Honda Fit is a very reliable car. Tried and test. People buy it for such reasons. Now just because a person has bought a Honda Fit it doesn’t automatically make them a bad driver.