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3 Easily Accessible Outdoor Escapes near Harare

Big Sky Outdoor Escapes close to Harare

Most of us have experienced “cabin fever” during Zimbabwe’s extended lock-down, and are ready for an outdoor escape.  Travel restrictions will come to an end so plan your outdoor escapes now! 

Get the family together and have a look at our suggested destinations,  all located within 40 km of Harare.  Zimbabwe has lovely clear skies in winter. Mild temperatures offer perfect conditions for walking, bird watching, or riding your bikes. Reconnect with nature, de-stress, and feed your soul.

Haka Game Park and Outdoor Retreat

Haka Game Park is only 10 minutes from the city centre,  just after the Msasa roundabout on Mutare Road.  Set in about 25 sq. km of pristine grassland. Take the family to view giraffe, zebra, impala, and wildebeest grazing the plains. Nestled among the Miombo woodland lie lichen-covered kopjes and private braai areas. Challenge the family to find the San rock art hidden among the rocky outcrops and identify the over 250 bird species in the park. Children can safely walk or ride their bikes around the gravel roads with clear views of the animals.

Be the first to spot the unusually dark giraffe meandering through the shadows.  While you won’t need your 4×4 on these park’s roads, it will still be a fun game drive.  Pack your tent and camping gear for an overnight stay to truly experience the African bush, listening to the soothing chirps of frogs and haunting hoots of owls.  Visit Haka Game Park for more details

Ewanrigg Open Air Botanical Gardens

Ewanrigg, named after the original farmer’s brother, Ewan, is an easy 18km drive out along the usually low-volume traffic Shamva Road. A tranquil outdoor oasis for plant and bird lovers alike, the botanical garden boasts a world-renowned collection of aloes and cycads. Within the Miombo and brachystegia woods and kopjes, you come upon vast collections of rare and common exotic plants adding to the charm of this tranquil botanical garden.  April to July is the best time to visit when the majority of aloes display their stunning flowers. The gardens abound with brilliantly coloured sun-birds. With a little patience, you could capture an excellent close up picture of these birds feeding. There is ample space for children to play, facilities for a picnic or braai and toilet facilities. For more details , – Visit Zimparks Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens

Savanna Camp and Wildlife Sanctuary, a brand new outdoor escape

 

Just 6.5km after the Goromonzi tollgate outbound on the Mutare Road, Savanna Camp comes up on your right. A conservation park established by Olivera and Tana, this outdoor escape is on Harare’s doorstep. Olivera and Tana  are passionate about wildlife and conserving our heritage. Savanna Camp has a wildlife population of over 26 resident mammals ranging from the agile night ape to the majestic giraffe.  Children (and the not-so-young!) are challenged to tick off as many animals and bird sightings as they can. The informative Savanna flyer will be shared on arrival.  Spend a full day game viewing, either guided or solitary, walking, driving, or venturing off-road on your mountain bike.  Better yet, camp overnight, and make a weekend of it.  Find out about one of Harare’s newest outdoor escapes here –  Savanna Camp.   

Now that you’re inspired and itching to get out of town, start your preparations today. Shake out those tents, fill the gas cylinders, pump some air into the bike tires and prepare your vehicle for the trip. Read Sean and Tom of Big Sky’s guidelines – How to keep moving after lockdown.

Stay safe, healthy and positive

The Big Sky Team

 

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An Update on the COVID-19 National Lockdown Legislation …

An update on the COVID-19 National Lockdown legislation …

We should be MORE vigilant during the national lockdown extension period, not less.

  1. The coronavirus is active in Zimbabwe, infection rates are increasing and as winter approaches, we are all potentially more vulnerable.
  2. The lockdown is still in place with very good reason – to restrict movement and limit the spread of the coronavirus. Despite the relaxations, the lockdown laws still reflect this need.
  3. As a result of the reduced restrictions during this phase of the lockdown, the risk of infection increases significantly, especially amongst commuters using public transport. Read on …

SI 99/2020 was published on 2nd May 2020, principally to extend the lockdown period to 17th May 2020, with important changes, including:

TESTING FOR COVID-19

Employers must arrange for the testing “at an agreed time at the workplace or at any other place agreed between them and an enforcement officer. Employers may contact the Ministry of Health Call Centre or the Ministry of Information Call Centre.”
Issues:

  1. To our knowledge, there are insufficient test kits in the country to test all employees in the formal commercial and industrial sectors.
  2. To our knowledge there are NO private, Ministry of Health approved institutions currently providing COVID-19 testing, to MoHCC specifications.
  3. SI 99/2020 is silent about the testing of the essential services already operating, including the food and agriculture sectors, mining, and manufacturing. How will COVID-19 testing be applied to these sectors?

Update 08:00, 4th May 2020

During a media briefing late on 3rd May 2002, the Minister of Information, Hon. M. Mutsvangwa announced the following designated medical (testing) facilities:
1) All government and municipality health facilities, mission hospitals, and New Start Centres (Not for Profit).
2) Designated private institutions include PSMI, Lancet Laboratories, and CIMAS.

In short, a large number of businesses who are permitted to resume trading and earning an income, from Monday, 4th May, cannot legally do so.

Update 20:00, 5th May 2020

At a post-cabinet briefing in Harare, the Minister of Information, Monica Mutsvangwa announced that companies in the commercial and industrial sectors opening under SI 99/2020, will be permitted to open subject to workers undergoing temperature tests when entering work premises, companies to provide sanitizers for workers on entry to sanitize their hands, each employee to wear a face mask and employees to practice social distancing in the workplace.

Update 07:00, 7th May 2020

SI 102/2020 is published on 6 May 2020, giving employers some reprieve. Companies in the commercial and industrial sectors opening under SI 99/2020, are given 14 days from 7th May 2020 to have workers tested. The 14-day period starts at a later date if the company can prove it re-opened at a later date. Subsection (3a) gives the Minister of Health the option to request companies to retest workers within 30 days.

CONTACT NUMBERS FOR COVID-19 TESTING

Covid-19 Call Centre number is 2019.

General contact for Ministry of Health is (0242)798555/60 and email pr@mohcc.gov.zw

The toll-free number for the Ministry of Information Call & Data Centre is 2023.

Note: There are private clinics carrying out both rapid results testing (RRT) and Polymerase Chain Reaction testing (PCR). The cost of the RRT is around US$25.00 and US$65.00 for the PCR.  Clinics include Lancet Laboratories and CIMAS.

Businesses are at all times to observe the social distancing rule at the workplace, to wear protective masks, and to make available for use by employees and other persons hand sanitizing liquid.

FACE MASKS

A face mask, manufactured or improvised, capable of covering the nose and mouth of the wearer, must be worn by anyone permitted to leave his or her home, or in any public space.

THE FORMAL COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

From 4th May 2020, businesses in the formal commercial and industrial sectors are permitted to operate. Employers and employees in these sectors are now regarded as persons employed in an essential service. Formal businesses include those that hold a shop licence, are VAT registered, a lessee, etc.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

ZUPCO (and its franchised bus operators), remains the sole authorised public transporter. (Kombis and mshika-shika are still prohibited from operating). Every vehicle operated by ZUPCO must be disinfected against COVID-19 by or at the direction of an enforcement officer at least twice daily. Every individual must be temperature-tested and have his or her hands sanitised before being allowed to board any vehicle. Every individual in or about a vehicle used for a transport service must observe the social distancing requirement of at least one meter.

Issues: Under normal circumstances, there were already insufficient ZUPCO buses operating, even with the kombi’s and private vehicles operating. We can expect considerable pressure on passenger loading points and on the buses, with zero likelihood that one-metre distancing will be maintained between passengers. In our view, this is the area with the greatest risk of infection amongst employees commuting to work

Before resuming work for the first time during the national lockdown, every employee and employer (in business in the formal commercial and industrial sector), must be screened and tested for the COVID-19 disease, whether by use of the rapid results diagnostic test (RRDT) or other test approved by the Minister of Health. The rapid results diagnostic test is defined as “a test for the presence or absence in an individual of COVID-19 whose results are obtainable instantly or on the same day as the test.

Questions we at Big Sky Supplies are regularly asked

Need for exemption letters: If your business or industry falls under the definition of essential services (which includes the formal commercial and industrial sectors, from 4th May), an exemption letter from the relevant Ministry is not required, as the statutory instruments represent the authorisation. However, company representatives must carry a letter from their employee, with ID numbers, to pass through checkpoints.

Right to exercise: Unlike South Africa, there is no provision for exercising in public spaces. As exercise builds immunity through both physical and mental well-being we trust that the authorities will relax on this issue during the next stage of the lockdown. In the meanwhile, as we have stated before, there is nothing preventing you from walking to the shops within a 5 km radius of your home.

Is travel around the country permitted? Inter-city travel is still restricted. ZUPCO remains the sole authorised public transporter. Members of the public can still only travel on essential service and must carry documentation or similar proving the purpose of the trip. Where practical, we recommend not more than one person in a vehicle, to avoid the appearance of ‘holidaying’. If more than one passenger is travelling, all must be carrying ‘letters’.

NOTES:
If a matter is not amended in one of the recent statutory instruments, the requirements of the original Public Health Order, still apply.

These notes are provided for guidance only, and should be read with the Public Health Order, COVID-19 and subsequent amendments, copies are available on request.

Thank you, #stayathomestaysafe

The BIG SKY TEAM

Acknowledgment: With thanks to Howard Dean, publisher of ‘Labour Relations Information Service’ (LRIS), and ‘Business Information Zimbabwe’ (BIZ) for his contribution to this update. (Subscriptions cover costs. If you are interested in paying a six-monthly subscription to receive regular updates of LRIS and BIZ, email aquamor@mweb.co.zw for details of how to subscribe. ZW$2,500.00 covers six months).

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How to Keep Moving After Lockdown

keep moving after lockdown

During extended lockdown in Zimbabwe, it is critical that motorists – and motorcyclists – ensure your vehicles keep moving after standing idle.

Any vehicle that is left unused for a while may develop issues that require intervention to get running normally again. But the hassle of wanting to start a vehicle when the battery is drained, or driving on uneven wheels, may be alleviated with some proper home care. Vehicle owners should do the following if your vehicles are going to be unused for the next couple of weeks:

Cover the vehicle:

If possible, park the vehicle indoors, under a roof, or use a car cover. Doing this will ensure it stays cleaner (and safer). Do not use a car cover if you are parking the vehicle in a garage, as any moisture inside will evaporate faster.

Battery maintenance:

While it may be better to remove the entire battery, disconnecting the negative terminal will also suffice. Be careful when doing this and ensure you are wearing protective eyewear and gloves, and that you have the right tools for the job. Always disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive terminal. Never touch the terminals together. Rubbing petroleum jelly on the terminals after they have been removed will prevent rust from setting in and help you moving when driving again.

Clean the vehicle before storage:

Dirt on the vehicle may cause permanent damage if left untreated, especially for a few weeks. This is the ideal time to properly clean your vehicle inside and outside before storage. Use approved cleaning agents on all interior and exterior surfaces, don’t wash your vehicle in direct sunlight, and dry it thoroughly before storage.

Cover the intakes and outlets:

If possible cover the air intakes with a cloth, and stuff a rag in the exhaust outlet. This will prevent insects and small rodents from getting in there. REMEMBER TO REMOVE THESE BEFORE YOU START THE VEHICLE AFTER STORAGE. LEAVE YOURSELF A NOTE ON THE STEERING WHEEL TO REMIND YOU.

Wiper care:

Wiper blades are an essential safety feature on vehicles. To prevent the rubber of the blades sticking to the windshield, place plastic wrap under the blades first. Do the same for any back wipers.

Insurance and Warranty Care: 

If you have insurance or aftermarket insurance products for your vehicle do not cancel these for the period of the lockdown. Not only will this impact on any no-claims rewards, but you may also be flouting the terms of your lease or purchase agreements if you cancel now. Another consideration is that you may have to use the vehicle in an emergency if you cancel your insurance now, you will not be covered if something were to happen even on a “short” outing.

“The current lockdown period is scheduled to end on Sunday, 17th May.

However, if the lockdown period is extended – as has happened with our regional neighbours – further steps may be necessary to protect your vehicle and keep it moving. These include:

Fill up on fuel:

It may seem counter-intuitive to have a tank full of fuel in a vehicle that is sitting idle but the science behind this tip is sound. A full fuel tank will prevent rust from forming on the inside by keeping moisture from entering the tank. Ensure the tank is properly sealed. Also, consider installing a long-range fuel tank after the lockdown.

Wheel maintenance:

This is really for long-term storage. If the vehicle is standing idle for a long period, flat spots may occur on the wheels. To prevent this, jack all the tyres off the ground or position the vehicle on blocks of wood all around. The idea is to keep all the tyres off the ground. Check tyre pressure is normal after storage and adjust to manufacturer levels as soon as possible after storage.

Oil care:

Drain the oil from the vehicle before long-term storage. After storage put in fresh oil, and change oil and air filters as soon as possible.

Change spark plugs to keep you moving:

Removing spark plugs may also prevent rust forming. However, if you are unsure of how to do this leave them in and get an expert to check them as soon as possible after resuming normal use.

“Having a reliable vehicle is essential and should not be taken for granted. If you are leaving your vehicle unused for a long period, it will still require some maintenance. Do not assume that an unused vehicle is going to start first time weeks after it was last used if it is not properly cared for during the lockdown,”

Hope these tips will help you keep moving after the lock down.

For technical advice and pricing on vehicle batteries, lubricants, engine additives, etc., email Tom at info@bigsky.co.zw

Sean and Tom

Big Sky Supplies – We prepare you for your journey

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Coronavirus Flights

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many are asking whether the airlines are still flying, particularly between Zimbabwe and South Africa. In the context of the South African lockdown from Friday, 27 March, this is what we found out:

Fastjet: Are still flying, but are not taking bookings for South Africa – Zimbabwe flights from 27 March onwards. Fastjet are only accepting Zimbabwe and South African passports holders for flights from Zim to SA, and Zim passport holders from SA to Zim. For enquiries call 086 7700 6060 (Harare office).

British Airways/Comair: Have limited seats for Harare – Johannesburg – Harare route for 25 March only. Flights from 26 March are shown as unavailable, visit  https://www.britishairways.com/

 South Africa Airways: Suspended all regional and international flights until 31 May, 2020.

SA Airlink: Are flying but there are no seats available before the SA lockdown.

Ethiopian Airlines: As of Tuesday, 24 March, Ethiopian was still taking bookings. Potential travellers can visit their website www.ethiopianairlines.com  for further updates, however we advise you to visit their new offices in Belgravia (opposite KFC).

We recommend that travellers do not book online, but secure your tickets and obtain first-hand information by visiting the airline offices directly.

Wishing you all safe journeys, and if you have to be where you are now, stay safe.

Sean and Tom

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Let’s Talk About Load Shedding Solutions …

Load shedding solutions

Realistically, we can expect load shedding to continue for at least the next 2 or 3 years, so let’s “Make a Plan”, as we do in Zim! We’ve been through severe load shedding before and learnt a few things on the way …

If you are considering investing in new equipment, it makes financial sense to buy wisely, to ensure the equipment meets your needs and lasts a long time. Start with being careful who you deal with. We are hearing stories of second-hand batteries being sold as new, and many other short cuts resulting in tears …

COOKING & HEATING
For cooking and heating, LPG, or “gas”, is the way to go! Cooking solutions include gas cylinders, gas cookers, and kettles.

Tips:

a) A two-plate cooker provides far more versatility than a single cooker top and is more gas efficient.

b) Gas cylinders used indoors should be shut off after every use.

c) Spares are available to keep your gas equipment in a safe condition, including certified gas hose, washers, etc.

Gas geysers provide instant, cost-effective heat and are available in various sizes to suit your budget and requirements. Available from 6 up to 20 litres of water flow per minute, these are suitable for use in the kitchen and staff quarter’s right up to gyms, clinics, etc. – wherever instant hot water is needed. Gas consumption is super economical: 1 kg of gas heats up to 800 litres of water. Our Approved Installers are available for a professional, hassle-free installation.

ALTERNATIVE POWER

To power your equipment in the home or office, many of our customers are moving away from generators, which are noisy and use expensive fuel we have to queue for.

Inverter systems provide a silent, reliable source of power for your lights, TV, Wi-Fi router, water booster pump, gate motor, etc., depending on the size of the inverter installation. The size of the inverter you need depends on the energy consumption of your equipment. For the energy consumption of the average computer, TV, fridge, etc., see our Appliance Rating Chart below, measured in Watts. (Deliberately omitted from the chart are the electric geyser (3,800W) and electric oven (4,500W)).

Appliance Consumption Chart
Appliance Rating Chart

Inverters are available in a range of sizes, the most common for home and office are:

  • 875VA (12V)
  • 1,500VA (24V)
  • 2,000VA (24V)

Most inverters will have an auto-switch function – as ZESA goes off, the unit instantly switches on, protecting computer equipment, etc. They also have a built-in battery charger, recharging your batteries when there is ZESA.

BATTERY REQUIREMENTS FOR INVERTERS

A 12V inverter runs off at least one battery and 24V a minimum of two x 12V batteries.

The number of deep-cycle batteries you need is determined by the period of time you intend using your equipment, in a day (or cycle). To extend their serviceable life, do not fully discharge your batteries. Batteries have a limited number of recharging cycles. Measured in a cycle per day, a battery that is regularly discharged by 80% can be expected to achieve +/- 600 cycles, i.e. less than two years. In contrast, a 50% discharge can achieve 1,000 to 1,300 cycles, and a battery conservatively discharged by only 30%, can achieve 2,200 to 2,700 cycles – at least five years of good service.

Tips:

a) If running large equipment (e.g. fridge, water booster pump, etc.), switch the equipment on individually to reduce the start-up load on the inverter and improve battery performance.

b) Buy your batteries from a reputable supplier, who offers warranty support and will be around to fix any problems in the future …

SOLAR BACK-UP

Once you have invested in an inverter system, we strongly recommend you install a back-up solar system. The solar system will charge your batteries during the day, reducing the battery discharge and adding years of serviceable life to your batteries.

If you’re getting less than 8 hours of ZESA a day, you need a back-up solar system to consistently recharge the batteries to at least 90% of capacity.

A solar system includes panels and a charge controller to regulate the charge to ensure your batteries do not overcharge, or “boil”. The size and number of panels is based on the size of the inverter system.

Big Sky is here to help you. Email sean@bigsky.co.zw with your enquiry. Our staff and engineers are on standby to provide professional advice and our Approved Installers will provide a professional, hassle-free installation.

All equipment is backed by Big Sky’s NO ARGUMENTS warranty support. Remember you can bring your batteries and inverters to us for a FREE health check and set up.

Disclaimer: The above is intended for guidance only. As the specifications and quality of equipment in the marketplace varies substantially, Big Sky cannot accept responsibility for the outcome of any installation not supplied or installed by Big Sky or our Approved Installers. Given the variance in specifications, performances will differ and figures are provided for guidance only. If you disagree with us, please be gentle …

The Big Sky Team looks forward to helping you “Make a Plan”. As we Zimbo’s do …

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Prepare for Your Visit to Mozambique

Your Trip to Mozambique

Mozambique is a beautiful country, but you will have a far better experience if properly prepared.

A short overview of the documents to carry:
Passport, police clearance certificate, vehicle and trailer registration papers, and insurance certificate. If compliant in Zimbabwe, your vehicle will display the licence and insurance discs, and Third Plate.

Remember the SDC requirements for minors, who require specific documents when crossing borders. For more on this, http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015

At Big Sky, we are often asked what the vehicle equipment requirements for Mozambique are. If your vehicle is compliant with Zimbabwe’s statutory requirements, you are well covered.

But unique to Mozambique are the following:

  • If towing, you must display Mozambique yellow on blue triangles, which are available from Big Sky. The large decal is to be placed on the right-hand side at the rear of the trailer, and the small decal on the right front of the towing vehicle. Be aware these triangles are required ONLY if you’re towing …
  • We also recommend you carry a reflective vest for each occupant in the vehicle.

For your peace of mind, we recommend the following as essential equipment:

  • A good map. Big Sky stocks the Mozambique/Malawi InfoMap with GPS coordinates and points of interest.
  • You’ll want to drop your tire pressures when off the tar. This will improve your ride over corrugated gravel roads, and significantly reduce the chances of getting stuck in soft sand. An air compressor is essential for reflating tires before driving at high speeds. Big Sky stocks the T-Max 72 litre compressor which will inflate your 4×4’s tires faster than you’ll finish your Coke.
  • A decent tow strap will come in handy when you are a good Samaritan and recover a stuck vehicle …
  • Consider fitting a long-range fuel tank and avoid the hassle of jerry cans at the border and the roadside. Big Sky is supplying quality, auxiliary fuel tanks for a wide range of vehicles, including the Ford Ranger, Isuzu (6th generation), Toyota Hilux (Vigo and Revo), Landcruiser (75, 79, 80, 100 and 200 Series), Fortuner; and Nissan Hardbody and Navara, and VW Amarok. For more, visit https://bigsky.co.zw/tales-trails/ 
  • To check availability and price for your vehicle, email sean@bigsky.co.zw or call/WhatsApp on 0772-420-517    

Finally, you could be driving in isolated areas … check the road worthiness of your vehicle, tyre condition, including the spare wheel. Take it easy and enjoy the drive, it is not only the destination that is beautiful.

I am Sean, and we look forward to preparing you for your journey to Mozambique.

Obrigado.

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Dealing with unprofessional ZRP checkpoints

Zimbabwean police inspect motorists at a roadblock near Harare on April 1, 2008. By Alexander Joe (AFP/File)

Sadly, not all members of the ZRP have adopted the professional service ethic that Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga is encouraging. We are receiving reports of unprofessional “roadblock-era” behaviour, involving harassment of female drivers on their own. This often occurs in remote, isolated areas where perhaps the members feel they are “untouchable”. Here is my advice on how to prove them wrong …

Visit the local police station

Invest time to visit the Officer Commanding at the police station the ZRP checkpoint is operating from. Request his/her name, rank and cell number. Every region has a TRAFFIC DISPOL, who has overall responsibility for the traffic policing within his/her region. Request his/her name, rank and cell number. Store both contacts in your phone.

Mention these names to the members at the problem checkpoint and you’ll almost always see an attitude adjustment for the better.

Install a dashboard camera

Unprofessional mischief usually occurs where the offending ZRP member feels he/she cannot be identified. A dashboard camera, or “dash cam” immediately overcomes this perception. As we saw during the roadblock-era, motorists using a dash cam experienced less harassment and greater respect. However, if you use a dash cam it is essential that you know how to use it, ESPECIALLY the ability to replay the footage, on request! (With the selfish and negligent driving that has become the norm on our roads and in town, and the dishonest reporting of accidents, dash cams have even more merit. A subject for another time …).

Report offenders to PGHQ

There is a genuine effort, under the leadership of Commissioner-General Matanga, to create a professional police service. We all agree that offensive behaviour by members of ZRP has no place in the current environment. Therefore, motorists can expect a positive response when reporting unprofessional behaviour at PGHQ, Harare (Tel: 024-2703631). However, do expect to have to follow up … request a report number and the name/rank of everyone you deal with.

Facebook group Dear ZRP is always available to report behaviour at ZRP checkpoints, both negative and positive.

Finally, remember that your own attitude and behaviour has a direct influence on the outcome at a ZRP checkpoint. Display the same polite behaviour that you expect to receive and 9 times out of 10 the encounter will be peaceful and amicable.

Safe travel,

Sean Quinlan

Big Sky Supplies, Managing Director

Dear ZRP, Admin

Road Users Association, Co-founder

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Do you need a long-range fuel tank?

Long-range / auxiliary tank on Land Cruiser

The fuel shortages being experienced in Zimbabwe has raised interest in long-range, or auxiliary, fuel tanks. The price differentials in the region have created appealing opportunities to save costs by filling at lower prices. The recent ban on the filling of jerry cans, has also increased interest …

Advantages of a long-range tank include:

  • Reduce the time spent in fuel queues!
  • All of the fuel is stored safely under the vehicle where any leaks will go straight to the ground.
  • Fuel stored in two separate tanks creates a backup in case one leaks or fails.
  • Your vehicle’s centre of gravity is as low as possible.
  • No messing about with jerry cans and funnels on the side of the track or road.
  • Overcome the ban on the filling of jerry cans in Zimbabwe.
  • We have the flexibility to fill up at lower prices and have the range to travel into neighbouring countries, or visa versa depending on fuel prices ruling at the time.

Big Sky imports quality long-range tanks from South Africa’s leading manufacturer, with over 20 years of experience. Tanks are available for a wide range of vehicles, including the Ford Ranger, Isuzu (6th generation), Toyota Hilux (Vigo and Revo), Landcruiser (75, 79, 80, 100 and 200 Series), Fortuner; and Nissan Hardbody and Navara, and VW Amarok.

Fitment in Harare is carried out by professionals with a great deal of experience in this field. The cost of fitment is reduced to a preferential USD 110.00 (incl.) until the end of February, 2019.

To check availability and price for your vehicle, email sean@bigsky.co.zw or call / WhatsApp him on 0772-420-517

NOTE: The image of the Landcruiser with a long-range tank is for illustration only. Specifications will differ. 

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BIG SKY UPDATE: DEPOSIT FINES | PROCESSING ROADSIDE FINES

DEPOSIT FINES

Motorists will be alarmed at media reports of $700 deposit fines, from 1 January. Recent reports of ZRP insisting on payment of fines in US Dollars, haven’t helped stress levels. The following should clarify these issues for Big Sky customers …

DEPOSIT FINES

The short version:

  • The increased fines proposed by Minister Ncube are still going through legal process and are not in effect, yet.
  • The MAXIMUM fine that can be imposed at the roadside remains Level 3, currently set at $30.
  • A fine higher than Level 3 can only be imposed by a magistrate after a court appearance.
  • The deposit fines currently being imposed by ZRP for traffic offences are $10 for Level 1, $20 for Level 2, with Level 3 attracting a fine of $30.
  • Once the final Scale of Fines has been gazetted, Big Sky anticipates Levels 1 to 3 will double to $20, $30 and $60, respectively.

Motorists are reminded you have the right to refuse a roadside fine and appear in court if you prefer not to admit guilt. However, be aware the Harare Magistrate’s Court is dysfunctional and you can expect to be severely inconvenienced …

The long version:

In his 2019 Budget Speech on 22 November, 2018, Finance & Economic Minister Mthuli Ncube proposed a number of measures affecting motorists. Amongst others, the Minister proposed increasing the maximum traffic fine to $700. To implement this and other proposals, the Finance (No. 3) Bill, 2018, was gazetted on 14 December, 2018.

The Bill proposes a revised Standard Scale of Fines, which goes even further than $700, with Level 12 listed as $8,000. (As an example Level 12 applies to “reckless driving” in respect of commuter omnibus and heavy duty drivers). This represents a quadrupling of the Levels from 4 to 14, whereas Levels 1 to 3 are doubled, up to $60.

However, since the minister was questioned in parliament about the severity of these fine levels, we understand they are under review. Big Sky therefore expects fines on all levels will be doubled (not quadrupled), once the final version of the Bill passes through parliament.

In the meanwhile …

  • Motorists are reminded that the MAXIMUM fine that can be imposed at the roadside is Level 3, currently set at $30. A fine higher than Level 3 can only be imposed by a magistrate after a court appearance.
  • The fines currently being imposed by ZRP for traffic offences are $10 for Level 1, $20 for Level 2, with Level 3 attracting a fine of $30.
  • Therefore, do not accept a roadside fine higher than $30, and exercise your right to appear in court if you prefer not to admit guilt.

PROCESSING OF ROADSIDE FINES

Motorists will recall the electronic devices ZRP introduced in June, 2017, at the height of the roadblock-era. These are named the Traffic Enforcement Gadget (TEG) and have since evolved into an efficient means to process deposit fines and accept payment.

  • The Traffic Enforcement Gadget is loaded with traffic statutory information, and the relevant fines. 
  • When imposing a fine on a motorist, the ZRP member will enter the section of the Statutory Instrument or Act, and the relevant fine will appear on the screen, e.g. “C.s. 29 Fail to display current vehicle licence or temporary licence – $10”.
  • The motorist is given three options to pay at the roadside: cash, mobile payment (e.g. EcoCash) or swipe. 
  • When paying with EcoCash, the motorists cell number is inputted into the TEG, which then prints the fine with payment method details, which acts as a receipt. The motorist must receive an SMS notification to his/her cell phone, with ZRP clearly stated as the beneficiary.
  • The TEG has an inbuilt swipe facility and a fine/receipt is printed as above.
  • When paying in foreign currency such as Rands, or Pounds, the device will calculate the amount based on the exchange rate of the day. 
  • When paying by cash, USD and bonds are calculated at 1 to 1 and the motorist has the option to pay in either.

Big Sky acknowledges the contribution from the publishers of BIZ Bulletin, a useful guide to business-relevant legislation. Subscription enquiries to aquamor@mweb.co.zw 

We hope you will find this update useful.

Kind regards … Sean Quinlan

Managing Director

Big Sky Supplies – We prepare you for your journey

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FINANCE MINISTER PROPOSES $700 TRAFFIC FINES – BIG SKY’S VIEWS

FINANCE MINISTER PROPOSES $700 TRAFFIC

In his 2019 Budget Speech, Finance & Economic Minister Mthuli Ncube proposed a number of measures affecting motorists.

Amongst others, the minister proposed increasing the maximum traffic fine to $700 and imprisonment up to 12 months. (Readers should appreciate the budget is a list of proposals, which will have to be considered by parliament before becoming law).

We can be grateful that government has acknowledged the carnage and state of chaos on the countries roads, and that it cannot be allowed to continue. However, with memories of the trauma inflicted on motorists during the roadblock era still fresh in our minds, we will expect the current government to comply with the laws of the country before implementing any changes.

Paragraph 879 of the 2019 National Budget Statement: “In order to promote road safety culture by adhering to road traffic regulations, the Budget proposes that any person who commits such offenses be liable to fines of levels 8 to 10, which attract a maximum fine of US$700 and imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.”

To legitimatise this measure, government has homework to do, including:

Amend the Road Traffic Act (RTA): Section 81(5) of the RTA says that the maximum fine that the regulations may provide for is level five. An amendment through an Act of Parliament is required, followed by an amendment to the relevant regulations, enacted by the Minister of Transport & Infrastructure.

Amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CP&EA): Sections 141 and 356 will require amendment to increase the deposit fine level above level three. (These provisions of the Act apply to any offences, not just traffic offences).

Revise the Schedule of Deposit Fines: The Schedule must list the various road traffic offences and the appropriate fines, clearly indicating which fines may be imposed by a member of ZRP versus by a magistrate following a court appearance. We trust the state will differentiate between life threatening offences and the trivial, and set the fines accordingly. To prevent roadside shenanigans, the Schedule must be readily identifiable (dated and on official stationery, etc.).

 The above will legitimise Minister Ncube’s proposals, however we will also request that the payment of fines be efficient and user friendly. For several months now, motorists have been greatly inconvenienced by the non-availability of receipt books and swipe facilities in police stations. These are only available in the least accessible and most inconvenient locations …

In conclusion, motorists should ignore recent misleading lists of fines appearing in the social media. Until government successfully makes the required amendments, the MAXIMUM fine that can be imposed without a court appearance, remains $30. (The current Schedule of Deposit Fines, effective August, 2017, can be downloaded from Facebook group Dear ZRP/Files).

With acknowledgement to the contributors whose advice I rely on, we hope your readers will find this clarification useful.

Kind regards … Sean

MD Big Sky

Pomona Shopping Centre

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