A YORKSHIRE -BASED Zimbabwean man has launched a car hire service in Harare in response to the experiences of fellow diasporans who often cite transport problems among the biggest inconveniences they face when they travel home.
Johnson Machimbidza has been operating Huzny Car Hire since December 2013 and has grown his fleet to around a dozen top quality all-terrain vehicles suited to Zimbabwe's notoriously potholed roads.
"I've seen people's plans to move around and see relatives and friends or visit fun resorts with their families get frustrated by transport problems. Sometimes it's not possible to rely on family, and such help often comes with huge financial attachments. And so I thought, why not create a service that offers people the independence, convenience and reliability they need to enjoy their Zimbabwean experience?" Machimbidza added.
Zimbabwe's car rental market is dominated by pricey, longstanding companies that have traditionally served the foreign tourist market. By focusing primarily on a market that is made up of people that are at once visitors and native to the country, Machimbidza said, Huzny Car Hire is able to provide a tailored service.
The company does not out-source vehicles but uses its own fleet of mostly automatic mid-SUVs and large SUVs including a Toyota Landcruiser seven-seater and a Toyota Hilux double cab.
"We offer well maintained vehicles with full comprehensive insurance cover, vehicle replacement in the event of a breakdown, an out of office emergency service, and generous extras such as a pick and drop service from and to the airport. We also offer infant seats and cooler boxes for free," Machimbidza said.
Huzny Car Hire is a member of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
The company recently introduced accommodation services to its portfolio with an assortment of cottages now available for holidaymakers to rent in Harare and Bulawayo.
"The properties comprise secure and fully furnished two and three bedroomed houses with DSTV, lovely gardens and all the conveniences for modern living, giving you somewhere to stay while in Zimbabwe for very affordable prices," Machimbidza added.
Huzny Car Hire, along with its accommodation services, joins a growing list of companies set up by diaspora-based Zimbabweans to respond to needs and challenges faced by their communities. Many of these have since broadened their scope to cover other markets beyond Zimbabwe and its diaspora.