Starting a public transport business in Zimbabwe

The question I mostly get from people is Dzina how do you get started in the transport industry? What are the requirements for one to get started? So that is what I’m going to tackle in this article. Well people that ask me this usually have this worry and voice that says I’m really worried there could be much that’s needed, but I always tell them you don’t need much just a vehicle and a license. Of course there are other business needs like workspace, human resources and business management knowledge, but I always argue, these are what makes the difference between a succeeding transport operator and a failing transport operator. The most basic for starting are the vehicle and the operator’s license.


Transport Operator’s License

As you probably know most industries/trades need sort of a license for you to be trading in it, the same applies to the transport industry, you need what is called a transport operator’s license. Then you are a legally a transport operator. An operator’s license is the thing you should strive and have before you even purchase your  first vehicle.


To obtain this license, you visit the Road Motor Transportation (RMT) offices  near you and apply for one. In case you didn’t know the RMT is a wing or department of the Ministry of Transport & Infrastructural Development.  To just give you a heads up before you go the requirements are:

  • Applicant’s bank statement
  • Tax clearance (either for vehicle or the company)
  • Schedule of Drivers
  • Garage Inspection Report from the VID
  • Application fee


To the best of my knowledge, there are three RMT offices in Zimbabwe

  1. Harare 
  2. Bulawayo 
  3. Gweru – 43-45, 2nd Street, Opposite Stanley School


An application usually takes 7-14 days to be processed. You can use this license for trucks, kombis, buses, minibuses and taxis and other forms of pubic transportation vehicles. One license works for many vehicles, you don’t need many licenses for different vehicles.


The next thing one needs is the vehicle. The sweet thing about  the operator’s license is that it does not have a minimum amount of vehicles one should own to have it. You can even have one. And for starters in the industry at times you can only afford one vehicle or just want to test with one vehicle. Your vehicle will be registered in red and white plates (public transport) and should be registered in the operator’s license holder’s name.


To get started you need the above two, but the below 3 will help you flourish and stay in business.

  • A workspace
  • Human Resources
  • Business Management knowledge and experience

I will explain more on these in the coming blogs.

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