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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

”WE PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR JOURNEY”

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Upgrading your 4×4 pick-up or SUV?

As the dealer in Zimbabwe for 4×4 Mega World, Big Sky only supplies quality equipment, including Old Man Emu suspension upgrades, ARB bull bars, rear bars with swing out spare-wheel carriers and roofracks. Our 4×4 recovery equipment includes SecureTechstraps, bow shackles, etc. and T-Max Adventure Jacks and winches.

Big Sky is the original name in 4×4 equipment in Zimbabwe.

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The best stories usually start with a bad decision …

Like the guys who tried cooking with coal in their Cobbduring a late-night party. The resultant meltdown required a few spares, which we carry to sort out any mishaps …
In stock now is the Cobb Premier and accessories including Roast Rack’s, Dome Extensions, the ever-popular Cobble Stones and the exciting new “Cooking for the Cobb” recipe book.

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From the roadside …

Motorists are fed up the reckless driving since the removal of roadblocks on 15 November, 2017. ZRP have since taken a soft approach, under the “new dispensation”. We hope that after the elections, ZRP will take the gloves off and deal with unlicensed and reckless drivers, decisively, in a fair and transparent manner. The poor condition of the roads isn’t helping motorists’ humour, but I’m confident you’ll see a large amount of road restoration around Harare, shortly.