International experts have warned that the unrestricted importation of used cars will take a toll on the country’s environment in the long run.
The last decade has seen an unprecedented number of these vehicles being imported particularly from Japan.
While the number of vehicles can be seen as a sign of development, the environmental impact cannot be ignored according to development specialist Enock Musara.
“It is a fact that these cars are not wanted elsewhere, that alone should tell us something and we should act in light of such sentiments from other countries who have banned the cars,” he said.
His views are supported by Shamiso Mutisi, an environmental lawyer with the Environmental Law Association based in Zimbabwe.
The experts argue that most of the used cars coming into the country are old and have less efficient engines, with aging technology compared to newer vehicles.
As a result, used cars cause more air pollution than new cars.
They told the Sunday News that not only do these old vehicles emit higher amounts of greenhouse toxins in the atmosphere, they also emit huge amounts of harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.
According to the experts, they come with high mileage and outdated technology which makes them susceptible to break down, with most of the vehicles not lasting more than five years after being bought.
Repairing these gray imports as the imported cars are sometimes referred to, has proved difficult for many second-hand car owners and this has led to thousands of used imported cars lying idle in backyards, scrap yards, driveways and roadsides.
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