Mugabe to ban second-hand car imports

Opening the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament in Harare yesterday, the President said Government was concerned by the high-death rate on the country’s roads.

"This year we witnessed an upsurge in road traffic accidents, resulting in the loss of many lives.

"On its part, Government will introduce measures to regulate the conduct of motorists.

"These will include the phased ban on both the importation of second hand vehicles and the use of re-treaded tyres on public service vehicles, haulage trucks or any vehicles for hire."

He said the introduction of toll fees for passage on major highways would result in more resources being allocated for the maintenance of the national road network.

The poor state of roads, the use of unroadworthy vehicles and human error have collectively been blamed for the high incidence of traffic accidents.

Since August this year, over 120 people have perished in major traffic accidents. In one of them involving a Mhunga bus, 40 people died and Government subsequently suspended the company’s operating licence.

Recently, a Chitungwiza commuter omnibus driver was jailed for three years after the courts found him culpable for the deaths of four schoolchildren who were in his vehicle when it crashed.

Robert Mugabe also said Government would be moving in to deal with people who started veld fires.

Uncontrolled fires have claimed dozens of lives, left vast tracts of land scorched and destroyed a lot of property in the past two months.

"Serious efforts are required in dealing with the current upsurge in cases of veld fires that are causing an avoidable loss of human lives, and destruction of property, flora and fauna. The political and traditional leadership of our society must take a lead in stemming this reckless destruction of our heritage.

"A Statutory Instrument to strengthen the enforcement of the Forestry Act will be put in place," he said.