Sunday, 7 February 2021


MORE than 4 000 vehicles have been given radiation free certificates after being screened at ports of entry.

While there were no available statistics of vehicles that failed the screening process, the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe (RPAZ) said their inspectors are at most ports of entry, including Beitbridge, Victoria Falls, Kariba, Forbes and Chirundu border posts.

RRAZ launched the mandatory exercise in Beitbridge where it was operating from the three transit sheds in the border town in December last year.

The majority of vehicle imports from Japan into Zimbabwe come via the border post hence the major presence there following the gazetting of SI 281 of 2020.

Importers of small passenger vehicles pay a contamination inspection per vehicle of US$10 and US$50 for de-contamination per vehicle.

For buses, heavy vehicles, haulage trucks and trailers, contamination inspection per vehicle costs US$20 and de-contamination is US$100.

The decontamination process is not for every vehicle but only those who levels of radiation are found to be above the permissible levels. The actual screening process is quick so that it does not inconvenience the clearing process. It takes at most five minutes

In a written response to questions from Chronicle, RPAZ corporate communications officer Mr Chamu Murava said vehicles that are clean will just be issued a certificate.

“The vehicle screening exercise at the country’s ports of entry is progressing well with over 4 000 vehicles having been screened to date in fulfilment of Statutory Instrument 281 of 2020.

“Our inspectors are on the ground in Beitbridge, Chirundu, Kariba, Forbes and Victoria Falls to ensure that we cover as much vehicles as we can and enhance the protection of the people from the harmful effects of radiation, which is our mandate,” he said.

Mr Murava said the decontamination process is done on site by technicians. “What is important to note however, is that decontamination is a process that takes place only for vehicles that have been found to be contaminated,” he said.

Mr Murava said all the vehicles screened so far have been clean of any radiation and the Authority remains diligent in its duty to ensure that this remains the case.

Mr Murava said the aim of the Authority is to ensure that the people are protected from the effects of radiation.

He said cars that are found to be contaminated will be isolated and decontaminated on site by RPAZ inspectors.

“This is so that vehicle importers do not experience delays and the inconvenience of travelling from the transit sheds for decontamination,” he said.

Mr Murava said studies indicate that there is no reason for anyone to panic that they are exposed to radiation from their vehicles.

“This exercise is not peculiar to Zimbabwe but is standard practice meant to protect the people and the environment against possible exposure to radiation,” he said.

Mr Murava said those who imported their vehicles before the gazetting of the SI and wish to have them tested can go to RPAZ offices in Harare and Bulawayo.

“Beyond testing the vehicle imports we also have a laboratory in Harare where we do food monitoring and water testing for bulk water supplies and home users.

What is important to note however, is that decontamination is a process that takes place only for vehicles that have been found to be contaminated,” he said. Chronicle


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