Harare – Zimbabwe has announced a ban on imports of second hand vehicles more than five years old with effect from March next year in a move likely to hurt a booming market for used cars.

The new regulations contained in a Government Gazette published on Monday said no person would be allowed to import any vehicle for registration and use on any road in Zimbabwe “if the year of manufacture from the country of origin is more than five years”.

The Government Gazette also outlawed left-hand driven vehicles with effect from March 2010 and set a new limit on the number of passengers that can be carried in light vehicles.

Light vehicles will no longer be allowed to carry more than five passengers “unless a seating width of at least 380 mm and 300 mm is allowed for the driver and every passenger respectively, measured along the rear of such a seat level.”

The Ministry of Transport blamed second hand cars for an increase in road accidents which have claimed more than 150 people since the beginning of 2010.

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