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A Dash Camera is Now Essential Vehicle Equipment

Poor driving has made a Dash Camera essential vehicle equipment in Zimbabwe

The deterioration of driving conditions across Zimbabwe has resulted in a Dash Camera becoming essential vehicle equipment. As a solution to overcoming corruption at the roadside, Dash Cameras became essential vehicle equipment during the road-block era that ended in November 2017. Since then, Zimbabwe has moved from being over-policed to disappointingly under-policed, with weak law enforcement. Furthermore, so many motorists are proving they need parental supervision, mostly due to the industrial-scale sale of drivers’ licences by corrupt VID staff.

The result is that many well-behaved, law-abiding motorists have become the unfortunate victims of harassment at the roadside and in police stations, and significant inconvenience inside a dysfunctional magistrate court system. The areas where us law abiding motorists usually experience problems are:

Organised confusion around Road Traffic Accidents (RTA’s)

A motorist dealing with an RTA will quickly discover he/she is on the back foot. Rogue members of ZRP often escalate incidents to incite fear in the motorist to secure a bribe. He\she is accused of “negligent driving”, must report to the station for fingerprinting and the vehicle will be impounded until the mandatory court appearance, etcetera, etcetera …
In the meanwhile the guilty motorist will often “encourage” the ZRP member to falsify the incident report at the site of the RTA. In a nutshell, everyone is lying, and the motorist is left spinning …

The result of accepting liability, even to the lesser charge of “driving without due care and attention” is a fine, and importantly, potential liability for any shortfall in the third-party insurance pay-out – which can run into several US$1,000’s!.

Roadside shenanigans affecting vulnerable motorists


Dash Cameras have proved particularly useful in dealing with “hit & run” scams, where a motorist is accused of hitting a cyclist or pedestrian, and not stopping. “Bystanders” chase down the motorist and after loud abuse, push for US$ cash to compensate the “victim”.

A common scam is a vehicle drives into the back of a stationery vehicle, with several men getting out of the vehicle and accusing the driver of the vehicle in front of having reversed into them. They leave after securing US$ compensation for the “damage” to their vehicle.

The categories of motorists most vulnerable to shenanigans on the road are women of all ages, youngsters and senior citizens.

Municipal police across the country are a problem


Most affected by rogue members of the municipal police are drivers of company vehicles, especially out-of-town trucks where the owner is conveniently far away. Motorists are often victims of individuals in plain clothes without any form of identification, possibly “municipal police”, extracting large sums of US$ in bribes from motorists avoiding significant fines. We wrote about the behaviour of Marondera’s infamous municipal police in November 2021, read more here https://bigsky.co.zw/municipal-fines-exceed-criminal-law-codes-scale-of-fines/

If you are with us and still reading, you’ll understandably be considering selling the car and staying at home!! However, as staying at home is not an option for most of us, we need a Plan B. We strongly believe that Dash Cameras represent an effective solution for your sanity and safety, and a Dash Camera is now essential vehicle equipment in Zimbabwe.

Rogue members of ZRP, VID and municipal police are most troublesome when they are anonymous/unidentifiable. The consequence of poor supervision by their superiors is the absence of personal identification being carried, and very often, individuals operate in plain clothes.

A Dash Camera instantly comes to your rescue

When a rogue member of a law-enforcement agency or a common criminal/liar, becomes aware that he\she is being filmed, the advantage immediately moves to you, the motorist. Out of fear of the potential consequences, everyone involved suddenly becomes more truthful and honest.

Combined with remaining calm, a knowledge of your rights and the ability to play back footage of the event, you now enjoy the advantage. Other areas where a Dash Camera proves useful:

  1. Clarifying actual speed when accused of speeding (GPS enabled devices)
  2. Uncomplicated playback of video at the roadside (especially Smart devices playing back through a cell phone app)
  3. Limiting abuse of company vehicles with locked/password protected Dash Cameras, also recording the vehicle interior.

Given the very real benefits that Dash Cameras will provide our motoring community, and not forgetting the problems experienced by Dash Camera users during the roadblock-era, we have been hard at work sourcing a range that will provide relief for our community. The result is …

Big Sky’s solution for Zim motorists … RING Dash Cameras

Manufactured by Ring Automotive Limited, United Kingdom, an OSRAM company, we are confident in the quality and functionality of the devices.

This is the latest generation in Dash Camera technology, with the award winning range being launched internationally in 2021. The RSDC3000 Smart Dash Camera with GPS Tracker (available through Big Sky), was positively acknowledged by Auto Express, UK. Read more here https://www.ringautomotive.com/en/dash-camera-best-buy-2022-rsdc3000

The RING range is backed by Big Sky’s “No Arguments” Warranty Support – with full technical back-up right here in Zimbabwe.

RING Dash Cameras are available right now at Big Sky Supplies, Pomona Shopping Centre, Harare. For additional information please email info@bigsky.co.zw or WhatsApp 0775 440 037.

Who in your community and family will benefit from the protection of a Dash Cam?

Please share this information with anyone in your family and community in the most vulnerable groups, namely women, youngsters, and senior citizens.

A Dash Camera is now essential vehicle equipment in Zimbabwe and we look forward to empowering motorists across the country, to take back the advantage.

Safe journeys,

Sean Q. and the BIG SKY TEAM

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Radio Removal Samaritans Campaign

Radio Removal Samaritans Campaign

Dear Senior Citizens,

In support of the Radio Removal Campaign, a number of good men and women have volunteered to remove senior citizens’ radios at no charge or just a reasonable amount to cover costs. The schedule of Radio Removal Samaritans can be found below.

The context is the ZBC Concessionary Listener’s License only applies to over 65’s for TV and radio for home use – not for a car radio. Our objective is to ideally remove the car radio or alternatively cover it so that it is not visible to ZRP or ZBC inspectors. You need to successfully argue that you do not have a car radio fitted.

Whether the volunteers are carrying out this service in their personal capacity, or as part of their business, we need to treat them with consideration. Some pointers …

  • Give reasonable notice to the volunteers. All prefer to be contacted by WhatsApp – just  message or call in advance to book your vehicle in with them.
  • Let’s be realistic in our expectations. Some vehicles, particularly newer models, have radios integrated into the dashboard and can pose a challenge. In all cases please be guided by the service provider and accept realities …
  • Let’s be patient. If your ZBC license is not due for renewal for a while, please delay contacting a service provider so that others whose licenses are due for renewal imminently may get first preference.

If you have any feedback on this campaign, whether bricks or bouquets, feel free to email your feedback to sean@bigsky.co.zw

Finally, in recognition of their community spirit, we encourage you to support the volunteers who are in the motor trade with your future business such as vehicle servicing, auto electrics, panel beating, etc. Where applicable we have included business operating names.

Thank you and Take Care,

Sean Q.
7 September, 2022

BUSINESS / CONTACT PERSONWHATSAPPOPERATING ADDRESSOPERATING HOURSCALL OUTS? (TRAVEL)OPERATIONAL AREAWILL ASSIST SENIOR CITIZENS AT NO CHARGEANY CHARGES (US$)COMMENTS
M&M Panel Beaters / Michael Bryant0787 386 80025 Anthony Avenue, Msasa8:00am to 4:30pm Friday 3.30pmNoWill charge for call outs $50 HarareYes$25 per hour - only if applicable.
Kwik Fix Auto / Malcolm Attwell0777 877 7605A Adylinn Road, Marlborough8:00am to 4:00pmNoN/AYesNo charge for senior citizens
Norman Higgs0771 929 772Cutty Sark Hotel - Kariba7.00am to 5:00pmYesKaribaYesNilHappy to assist.
Damion Boyce0772 35267017 Caithness Road, EastleaAnytimeYesHarareYesNilI am happy to help as I know how tough things are here.
Gladman Gava0773 639 53839 West Drive - Victoria Falls8:00am to 5:00pmYesPreferably those close to Vic Falls, HwangeYesI can do it for free. My only charge might be transport costI am glad to be of help to any senior citizens who are suffering because of this radio law.
Help24Seven / Rodney Beadon0772 320 09020 Honey Bear Lane, Borrowdale24 hours a day 7 days a weekYesWhere ever you need meYesNilWould like this opportunity to educate people about Help24Seven whilst doing a community service.
Dion Wharren0772 603 375Metro Peech, Graniteside8:00am to 5:00pmYesGreendale. Highlands. Chisipite.YesNilWilling to assist where I can.
Charlie Snyman0772 209 88349 Ridgeway South, Highlands8:00am to 5:00pmYesHarare onlyYesNilOther services Senior Citizens may desperately require if I can assist on occasion.
Alphos Chigwadhi0773 552 910Corner Strand and Bessemer, Graniteside8:30am to 4:30pmYesAcross Zimbabwe it’s fine with meYesAny amount that will cover the costs involved.The senior citizens have paid tax for a very long time and it’s high time they also begin to enjoy the benefits.
Available from June only:
Jonathan de Bruijin
0777 697 6318 Tedder Road, Highlands9:00am to 3:00pmYesHarare: Greendale, Highlands, Newlands, ChisipiteYesNilHappy to help - more familiar with older cars.
Tandem Service Centre0776 226 4352 Dunkeld Road, Mount Pleasant7:00am to 5:00pmYesHarare at presentYesNilOur Accessories Department is happy to assist with removing radios.
Kevin Stephens0775 076 7951 Cannock Gardens, Cannock Road, GroombridgeCall to arrangeYesMount Pleasant, Borrowdale, VainonaYesNilNil
Isuzu Restoration Centre / Shacky Nyirenda0773 657 32213 Devon Road, Avondale West8:00am to 5:00pmYesHarareYesNo charge, depending on type of carCan do other cities or towns for free provided fuel is sponsored for the trip
Audiocity / Mohammed Siddiqui0773 047 664117 King George Road, Avondale9:00am to 5:00pmYesWill do call outs anywhere in harare only if the senior citizen is unable to come to usYesNilWill be happy to assist however we can.
Tasimba Mhizha0773 406 974Arundel Office Park, Mount Pleasant8:00am to 5:00pmYesAll

Yes$30 if applicable
Eugene Oswald0772 295 1454 Prue Close, Athlone9:00am to 4:00pmYesHarare, Greendale, some parts of BorrowdaleYesNil
Gerald Mangena0772 900 700Number 16 23rd Avenue, Belmont, BulawayoWeekends only.YesBulawayoYes$5 to cover fuel expenses where applicable.I am based in Bulawayo and I'm happy to assist with radio unit removals during weekends at no charge.
Amy Jane Potgieter0784 996 660159 Citroen Road, Msasa7:30am to 5:00pmYesSuburbsYesNil
Soundboyz / Raymond Marais0712 200 29475B Rhodesville Avenue, Highlands8:00am to 4:30pm Mon - FriNoN/AYes$0-$20
James Hewitt0772 564 00752 Glen Garry Avenue, Highlands8:00am to 5:00pmYesWithin HarareYesNil
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The State of Post-Crash Response in Zimbabwe

Ace Air & Ambulance has introduced Emergency Medical Rescue Membership Packages

It’s over the weekends that we hear the most appeals for an ambulance to attend to a road accident. The good Samaritans who have stopped to help usually struggle to get an ambulance to attend. The inevitable sad outcome illustrates the poor state of post-crash response across Zimbabwe.

I can talk with the benefit of attending an event on Friday, 21 May, 2021, organised by the Road Safe Zimbabwe Trust. https://www.facebook.com/Road-Safe-Zimbabwe The Operations Director of Ace Air & Ambulance (Pvt) Ltd presented on post-crash response. Some of the key points:

  • Due to an under-resourced local government, the burden for post-crash response has fallen on the private sector.
  • The private service providers do not have the resources to service all of Harare and the rest of the country.
  • An ambulance is not a “kombi” with a red light providing transport. The service provider will have to provide medical equipment and personnel, all which come at a cost.

There is good news for Zimbabwean’s looking for post-crash assistance, or indeed any medical emergency support. Ace Air & Ambulance has introduced Emergency Medical Rescue Membership Packages which include:

  • Basic: Road Ambulance, country wide 24 hours – Cost US$ 1.00 p.p.p.m.*
  • Intermediate: Road Ambulance & Helicopter Rescue, country wide, 24/7 – Cost US$ 3.50 p.p.p.m.*
  • Advanced: Road Ambulance, Air Ambulance, Helicopter Rescue and Emergency Call Centre, country wide 24/7 – Cost US$ 5.00 p.p.p.m.*

* Per person per month (For effective administration the minimum period is 6 months).

We believe all these Membership Packages are amazingly affordable and provide effective post-crash and medical emergency response throughout Zimbabwe.

Effective post-crash response is one of the five key pillars of the United Nations Global Road Safety Management. https://www.un.org/en/safety-and-security/road-safety
Sadly, the lack of effective post-crash response is a major contributor to Zimbabwe’s high fatality rate from road accidents.

We encourage our community to take advantage of this opportunity to become self-reliant, by visiting Big Sky Supplies where our staff will assist with your application and arrange your Emergency Medical Rescue Membership Card. For more information visit https://www.ace-ambulance.com/, see our flyers in-store or email info@bigsky.co.zw.

Safe journeys,

Sean Quinlan

CEO, Big Sky Supplies

PS: We previously covered the issue of medical air evacuation out of Zimbabwe, in July 2020. Read more here https://bigsky.co.zw/how-medical-air-evacuation-works-in-zimbabwe/

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Making Sense of Zimbabwe Lockdown 2021

Big Sky #Zimbabwe Lockdown 2021

There have been high hopes that “non-essential” businesses would be allowed to open as the current phase of Zimbabwe Lockdown 2021 ended on Monday, 15 February 2021. In his address to the nation on the same day, President Mnangagwa announced four significant changes, but the announcement also generated confusion around the reopening of “non-essential” businesses. The publication of SI 42/2021 on the same day formalised three of the changes.
Once again, Big Sky attempts to make sense of Zimbabwe Lockdown 2021 …

WHAT HAS CHANGED DURING THIS PHASE OF ZIMBABWE LOCKDOWN 2021?

There are three principal changes stated in SI 42/2021 published on Monday, 15 February, the same day as the President’s announcement:

  1. The Level IV national lockdown is extended to midnight of 1 March 2021
  2. Curfew has been shortened, now 20:00 to 05:30 (from 18:00 to 06:00)
  3. Business hours for supermarkets and other essential services are extended, now 08:00 to 17:00 (from 08:00 to 15:00).

However, during his announcement on 15 February, the president also stated: “Those in the informal sector may only open once they have satisfied WHO protocols.” This implies that the informal markets may operate (conditionally), even though not stated in SI 42/2010.

In the public announcement on the lockdown extension, the President also stated, “All private companies seeking resumption of operations should test their employees in compliance with WHO protocols.” There is no reference to “private companies” in SI 200/2020 (the consolidated lockdown order), or SI 10/2021 or SI 42/2021 published on 15 February.

We are left wondering whether private companies seeking resumption of operations refers to companies that have been closed during the lockdown that commenced on 5 January, including non-essential services? Any clarification will be published here.

TRAVEL BY ESSENTIAL SERVICES WORKERS

As before, workers in the Essential Services sector are to carry copies of the Lockdown Exemption Letter issued to their company/organization, and a letter on the company/organization’s letterhead. As there has been no statement from ZRP to the contrary, it appears letters issued for the initial period of the lockdown will continue to be accepted during the current extension.

Lockdown Exemption Letter:

According to the “Final Revised Ministry Statement, 4 January 2021”: “Companies in the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, commerce, tourism and hospitality industry are advised to make use of the Lockdown Exemption letters previously issued by Ministries of Industry and Commerce and Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry for the next seven (7) working days, during which companies should renew their exemption letters.”

And: “Regarding the Tourism and Hospitality industry, Agriculture and Mining the companies in these sectors should get their Exemption letters from their respective parent Ministries.”

The press statement issued by ZRP on 4 January 2021, states: “Movement and exemption letters will now be issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce”

This implies that “Do It Yourself” letters/affidavits stamped by ZRP will not be accepted at the checkpoints, and only a Ministry issued letter will be accepted. Given the massive pressure and (unhealthy) congestion at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce offices, we expect other entities to approach their respective ministries, including Tourism, Agriculture, etc. (Also see Notes, below).

Employer’s Letter:

According to the “Final Revised Ministry Statement, 4 January 2021”, the employers’ letter should include:

  • Employee name and ID number
  • The points of commute
  • Company line of business/products and state how that is covered by the Statutory Instruments
  • Working hours, and shifts where necessary
  • The letter should be signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Managing Director (MD)

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) in another of their very useful updates, published a suggested template for the employer’s letter. (For a copy of the CZI update, email sean@bigsky.co.zw).

INTER-CITY TRAVEL DURING ZIMBABWE LOCKDOWN 2021

Inter-city travel during Zimbabwe Lockdown 2021 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’.

Checkpoints typically accept up to 4 passengers in a vehicle with both front and rear seats, and 2 passengers in a pick-up/truck with front seats only. Every occupant of the vehicle must wear a mask.

HOLIDAY AND RECREATIONAL TRAVEL

The Health Minister’s public announcement on 2 January, 2021, said, “Tourist facilities and national parks will operate as before subject to the usual health precautions”. Given the Health Minister’s ruling it is a given that tourists must travel to their holiday destination, and the great majority will travel by road.

However, the continued operation of the “tourist facilities and national parks” is not explicitly provided for in SI 10/2021 nor SI 42/2021. We therefore advise domestic tourists travelling by road to carry hardcopies of your accommodation bookings AND a copy of the Health Minister’s “Lockdown Statement, 2 January, 2021”. (For a copy of the MoH statement, email sean@bigsky.co.zw).

TRAVEL BY DOMESTIC STAFF

Once again there is no reference in any Statutory Instrument, ZRP or ministerial statement to travel by domestic staff or any persons employed by a “non-commercial entity”. As previous, we recommend employers prepare a letter based on the formal employer’s letter (see above), supported by an affidavit stating the purpose of the travel and stamped at your local police station.

NOTES

There is no reference in SI 10/2020 making it a requirement for motorists to carry letters stamped by ZRP. Based on inter-city travel during the 2020 lockdown periods, provided the motorists’ documents were in order, ZRP stamped letters were neither requested nor expected. However, given the pressure on the various ministries, we understand employers and travellers are approaching police stations with a letter and supporting affidavit, and being assisted.

Under no circumstances should you pay for either Exemption Letters or police stamps.

These notes are provided for guidance only and should be read with the Public Health Order (COVID-19) and subsequent amendments. We welcome any feedback, kindly email sean@bigsky.co.zw.

ZRP CONTACT NUMBERS

To report cases of harassment and attempts to solicit bribes at lockdown checkpoints or at police station level, contact:

ZRP Police General Head Quarters – Internal Investigations. 2005 Fife Avenue, corner Enterprise Road, Harare: (0242) 702083 / 707702 (Office hours only. After office hours call PGHQ, number below).

ZRP Police General Head Quarters, Harare: (0242) 703631 (24-hour)

 – PGHQ, Harare Anti-Corruption members will take calls from all over the country, referring you to the most appropriate personnel in your area, where necessary. Senior members of the Zimbabwe National Army are coordinating anti-corruption efforts with their counterparts in PGHQ.

ZRP Provincial Operations, Matabeleland: (0292) 885479 (24-hour)

ZRP Provincial Public Relations: (0292) 260358 (Office hours) – Contact for assistance with incidents throughout Matabeleland

Thank you,

#stayathomestaysafe

Sean Q. and the BIG SKY TEAM

Acknowledgments:
Howard Dean, publisher of BIZ Bulletin and Labour Relations Information Service. Subscription inquiries to aquamor@mweb.co.zw

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI). (024) 2251496

Optima Legal (Pvt) Ltd. Visit www.optimalegal.co.zw

To download copies of all COVID-19 statutory instruments and amendments, visit https://www.veritaszim.net/node/4120

Published 06 January 2021

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Number Plates in Zimbabwe

number plates | Zimbabwe | Big Sky Supplies

An appeal to ZRP and the Ministry of Transport to show consideration …
There is an insufficient number of number plates in ZImbabwe to meet demand and the impounding of vehicles is disproportionate treatment of motorists who are simply unable to properly register and license their vehicles. And Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) is about to run out again …

Since the joint announcement by ZRP and CVR on the 8th of September, 2020 that vehicles not displaying number plates would be impounded, a great deal of motorists have had their vehicles impounded despite their best efforts. Unscrupulous members at lockdown checkpoints are using this opportunity to extort fines from motorists to be allowed through the checkpoints. Despite CVR’s claims that permanent number plates are available, CVR is unable to meet the backlog of tens of thousands of vehicles requiring numberplates going back to 2019, as well as the demand from recently purchased vehicles. In a statement on the 10th of September Zinara encouraged motorists to properly license their vehicles however without a registration number (issued by CVR), it is impossible to license a vehicle …

Advising motorists to park their vehicles until they are properly registered and licensed is not a solution. In the absence of an efficient Public Transport System, the owners have invested in their vehicles to carry out their business and family affairs and should not be compromised through a dysfunctional environment. 

The registration of vehicles and displaying permanent number plates is vital to reduce crime such as hit-and-runs, robberies, and child abductions. Being able to identify vehicles and their overnight address will also encourage ZRP to re-introduce form 265 which does require the ability to identify offenders. Motorists who have made no attempt or deliberately remain anonymous should be penalized however we encourage the Ministry of Transport and ZRP to show consideration for the realities on the ground.

We recommend that all vehicles displaying Temporary Identification Cards (TIC) dated from the 1st of March, 2020 onwards be permitted on the roads and given a reasonable period to comply. However, vehicles with TIC’s issued prior to the 1st of March or showing no form of identification at all should be parked by their owners but if used, ZRP is in a position to impound.

Equally, ZRP and other authorities must accept full responsibility for vehicles that have been impounded. It is unacceptable that body parts and fuel is stolen from vehicles in the custody of ZRP, City of Harare, and other Councils.

The Ministry of Transport should rapidly scale up the production of number plates in Zimbabwe as well as investing in Central Vehicle Registry’s infrastructure which is currently in shambles, often lacking paper, stationery, and with broken photocopiers making it very difficult for the men and women of CVR to carry out their jobs.

We look forward to CVR and ZRP making a favourable announcement without delay.

With respect,

Sean of Big Sky

This appeal was first published on Facebook group Dear ZRP on 12 October, 2020

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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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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”