Impala Car Rental
Type
Car Rental Company
IndustryTourism & Hospitality
Founded2007
FounderThompson Dondo
HeadquartersHarare, Zimbabwe
Websitewww.impala.co.zw

Impala Car Rental is a car rental service & tourism hospitality company in Zimbabwe. It was founded in 2007.

The company offers a full range of car rental services including self-drive, chauffeur drive as well as shuttle services.

Setting Up in South Africa

One of the country’s fastest growing car rental firms, Impala Car Rental spread its footprint onto the lucrative South African market in 2017 and planned to increase its fleet of cars in that country from the 50 to 105 due to rising consumer demand.

The Harare-headquartered company, which was formed in 2007, is considered a key partner in the local tourism and hospitality industry. It offers a range of services such as budget vehicles, buses, four-by-four road vehicles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

Impala chief executive officer Mr Thompson Dondo told The Sunday Mail Business in May 2017 that there was a marked increase in demand for the service particularly in Johannesburg. “Our growth has come organically through the relationships that we have with our customers. We just keep things simple – easy to deal with and consistent with our pricing,” he said.

It was believed that the service proved to be convenient for Zimbabweans travelling to SA. The company launched a service at OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa during the last quarter of 2016 following demands from their clients who often travel to South Africa.[1]

Branches

  • Harare
  • Bulawayo
  • Victoria Falls
  • Cape Town
  • Johannesburg
  • Durban
  • Zambia

Awards

  • Super brand best car rental 2017
  • Best car rental customer choice award 2017

Their hired vehicle used in Tawanda Muchehiwa's abduction

One of the vehicles used by state security agents in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa, the nephew of ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu, was hired from a Harare car rental company, ZimLive can reveal. The white Ford Ranger was returned to Impala Car Rental in Harare on August 6 with a damaged suspension and tyres, the vehicle’s owner confirmed.

Impala owner Thompson Dodo confirmed they hired out the vehicle in late July for six days. “Unfortunately, your enquiry involves personal information. What I can tell you is that the vehicle was hired out to a regular client. We would be much more comfortable sharing that information with the police,” Dodo said.

Both Dondo and the vehicle’s registered owner confirmed that police were yet to contact them – two days after we released the video of the abduction clearly showing the vehicle’s number plate.[2]

Impala confirms ownership of abduction car, see the statement from the car rental company below:

Following a social media video clip which implicates one of our rental vehicles (Registration No. AES 2433) in an alleged abduction for Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo, Impala Car Rental would like to advise all our valued stakeholders that we are really concerned with this matter.

As a service provider, we are limited in controlling where and how our vehicles will be used because clients are not obliged to disclose their vehicle hiring purposes. It is very possible that some clients may use our vehicles for criminal activities without our knowledge & it is not our intention to cover up for such criminals.

As Impala Car Rental we stand obligated to cooperate with any investigations by the Law Enforcement Agents into this matter so that Tawanda Muchehiwa gets justice.

We would like to assure all our stakeholders that Impala Car Rental remains committed to providing the best service possible at all times!

Thompson Dondo Chief Executive Officer

29 August 2020

Conversation with Impala Car Rental CEO

Court Order

A court has ordered a car rental company to turn over vehicle tracking data and all other information it holds on a customer who is the main suspect in the abduction and torture of university student Tawanda Muchehiwa by state security agents.

Muchehiwa, the nephew of ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu, was stalked and then abducted in Bulawayo by men driving in at least five vehicles on 30 July 2020, the eve of planned anti-government protests. Under the order granted by Justice Evangelista Kabasa on September 3 at the behest of Muchehiwa’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole, the Sheriff was directed to “recover from Impala Car Rental all documentation and information relating to the hire of a Ford Ranger motor vehicle registration numbers AES 2483 over the period between July 26, 2020, and August 6, 2020.”

The information to be handed over includes “a route map indicating the places and distances travelled by such vehicle over the period aforestated as recorded by Impala Car Rental’s automated vehicle tracker system.” Sithole, speaking on Friday, said they were being frustrated by the Sheriff in Harare who was served with the judgement on Tuesday, September 8, but said he would only have executed it on Tuesday, September 15.[3]

Impala Car Rental Timeline on Tawanda Muchehiwa's Abduction

  • 30 July 2020 – Tawanda Muchehiwa is abducted from Tile & Carpet Centre in Belmont, Bulawayo;
  • 1 August 2020 - Bulawayo High Court gives police 72 hours to bring up Muchehiwa;
  • 1 August 2020 – A badly brutalised Muchehiwa is dumped near his Mahatshula home at 10pm;
  • 27 August 2020 - ZimLive releases CCTV footage of Muchehiwa’s abduction;
  • 28 August 2020 – Impala Car Rental owner confirms the company hired out the Ford Ranger used in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa;
  • 9 September 2020 - Students stage demonstration at Impala Car Rental headquarters in Hillside suburb, Harare;
  • 10 September 2020 – Zinasu leader Takudzwa Ngadziore arrested for leading protests at Impala Car Rental;
  • 11 September 2020 - Bulawayo High Court orders Impala Car Rental to release information on vehicle used in Muchehiwa’s abduction (Anton Piller order);
  • 18 September 2020 - Ngadziore assaulted and arrested for addressing a Press conference 100 metres away from Impala Car Rental, in Hillside, Harare;
  • 18 September 2020 -Journalists also assaulted at the Impala Car Rental press conference;
  • 24 September 2020 - Impala Car Rental lawyer denies claims that the company gave false information on the person who hired the car used in Muchehiwa’s abduction;
  • 15 October 2020 - Students lock up Impala Car Rental offices in Harare’s central business district, arguing the company was complicit in Muchehiwa’s abduction;
  • 16 October 2020 – Ngadziore is freed on bail;
  • 27 November 2020 – The NewsHawks exposes Impala-Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) links and
  • 1 December 2020 – Impala denies any links but fails to wriggle out.[4]


Contacts

  • 40 Chiremba Road,
  • Hillside,
  • Harare,
  • Zimbabwe
  • +263 242 742 420
  • +263 772 382 946

Trivia

When Impala was set up in 2007 it had four Sedan vehicles. By 2020 it had over 200 top of the range vehicles.

In the formative years, Impala Car Rental owners ventured into other projects like piggery, bakery company, and a car suspension center to supplement the car rental business that was struggling.[5]

References

  1. [1], The Sunday Mail, Published: 28 May, 2017, Accessed: 3 December, 2020
  2. [2], ZW News, Published: 30 August, 2020, Accessed: 31 August, 2020
  3. Sipho Mabuza, [3], ZimLive, Published: 11 September, 2020, Accessed: 13 September, 2020
  4. Dumisani Nyoni, [4], The News Hawks, Published: 4 December, 2020, Accessed: 5 December, 2020
  5. Bruce Chawanda, birth and growth of Impala: An insider’s viewpoint, ZBC, published: December 9, 2020, retrieved: December 9, 2020