Zim Startup Unveils Uber-like Service To Help Locals And Foreigners Commute Smoothly

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

You’ve probably heard of the popular ride-hailing service, Uber. Have you ever wished we had our own Uber in Zimbabwe or a more reliable taxi service? If the answer to that question is yes you will probably be interested in ImotaCars.

What are they doing?

ImotaCars is a ride-booking app that’s available any time of the day. Basically, they offer a taxi service but what sets them apart from the regular taxi is when you order a ride through their app you can track the driver and you know how far they are from you. The app also has an ecosystem of drivers and when you are done with the ride you can rate the driver out of 5 stars which ensures that drivers are careful as the higher their ratings the higher the likelihood they’ll grow their network of passengers.

In their own words ImotaCars is trying to:

…bridge the technological gap in Zimbabwe by bringing in transport systems that have proven to be successful in the Western countries. The technology we provide takes away the traditional and cumbersome way of booking a taxi through phone calls and not knowing where your taxi driver is in real-time.

Why is this necessary?

In our communications with ImotaCars, its clear they feel the traditional way of getting a taxi is not exactly convenient. This inconvenience is even worse for foreigners coming into the country as they are not aware of how things work. Foreigners just want a convenient way of travelling without having to go through hassles and ImotaCars are trying to be the solution they depend on. Even locals can use this app as a more convenient way of going out at night or even replace their normal taxi since they can track their drive on the ImotaCars app.

How does the service work

When you enter the app you are met with a map showing your current location. There’s a prompt asking you where you want to go and when you enter the location you get a summary of how much the ride will cost. You can choose between two types of rides; Economic or Plus. The economic rides can carry a maximum of 5 passengers whilst the plus size takes 7 passengers.

The issue of cost…

By now, you can tell Imota are more concerned about taxis and that’s the space they are trying to innovate in. Anyway, to calculate costs in the app, you just enter your destination and the app shows you a cost. The service charges at a rate of $1/km and $1.50/km respectively for the economy ride and the plus ride. The driver also adds a fare and when I ordered a ride to Avondale Shopping Centre from Malbrough Drive the total amounted to just $8.

The app also has a wallet where you can transfer funds from your EcoCash and they can stay there. These funds will be used to pay for the rides you order. Unfortunately, the only payment methods accepted include EcoCash and cash for now. It will probably a good idea for Imota to add ZimSwitch to that list since we’ve gone cashless and accepting a single form of digital payment isn’t the best of ideas, even if that’s the dominant method of payment.

The app also keeps a history of your trips just in case that is valuable to you.

Cultural boulders…

It will be interesting to see the reception this app gets since the drunk driving is not taken seriously in Zim. Will someone be willing to pay for ImotaCars, when every weekend they drive whilst drunk and make it home? We’ll have to wait and see but I think the charges justify using the service over endangering your life. This service also makes it possible to go out at night if you don’t have a car.

If you are interested in using ImotaCars you can check out their Android app you can download it here.

You can also sign up to be a driver on the ImotaDriver App here.


  1. Anonymous

    This is beautiful news. I don’t live in Zimbabwe but knowing how this good serice works where l live , l will use it this holiday coming. Thumps up and good luck.

  2. janeth kateya

    This is a welcome development in Zim. Way to go indeed!

  3. Vepano

    Dear Nyanduri.

    These guys did a good job but you didn’t. U didn’t comment on the quality of the ride. Neither did you say anything about how do they vet drivers and cars. How am I suppose to trust these guys to deliver my son to school and back if I have no idea there was a background check? Can I hail a ride for someone else…?

    So many questions….

    1. JamesM

      My thoughts exactly. Look at how maKombi and private taxis drive. The driving culture in Zim will doom this initiative. But if they are careful in how they recruit their drivers they have a chance at success. Still, there are other challenges. The roads are full of holes. Life is difficult indeed.

  4. anon

    …..gets since the drunk driving is not taken seriously in Zim. Will someone be willing to pay for ImotaCars, when every weekend they drive whilst drunk and make it home?….

    so many of us are guilty here

  5. tarisa kwava nevamwe

    The only difference with other taxis is they have an app.7 pple in a taxi. Same porthole roads. Trafficking lights which do not work. We have a long way to go pple.

  6. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Please provide a cost comparison to other ride services like GTaxi. I think Hwindi is now defunct. From a GTaxi pricing schedule once posted on TechZim https://t3n9sm.c2.acecdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Pricing-GTaxi.pdf , assuming the pricing hasn’t changed GTaxi would cost you $10. And, that’s a branded vehicle with inside cameras for additional safety. Alternatively, I’m sure you can catch a regular cab for $8, or less, travelling alone, if you negotiate. It cheaper and safer to just have a cab driver you use on the regular.

  7. Munhu mukuru

    Hwindi is still there and has bounced back strongly with a fleet of Mercedes Benz’s and a 24hr Call Centre. For pricing go onto the website and do fare estimates. Standard cab is on $0.85/km and Premier Cab is on $1.00/km and Van $1.20/km You can now book via the Hwindi app or call Centre (0775494634). You can also book to ride right away or to book to ride later. It also now has a parcel delivery service. Payment is cash, swipe, Ecocash, OneMoney and Telecash!

    1. Munhu mukuru
    2. Leon Chinguwa

      Hwindi Offers Great Service. I use their App to get rides

  8. Happy Zhou

    Interesting, are these services using the normal taxi livence offered in Zimbabwe? Or is there a new private taxi licence im not aware of?

    I always welcome technology. They did well to bring this to zim. All they have to do is get into the market well and make people happy whilst being effecient affrodable and taking care of the bottom line. $8 in zim can be a lot for a people who catch Kombies for 1$ max per trip.

    How can we make these taxis more affordable. Except if you say they target the working class individuals?

  9. Oops

    I’d liketo understand why there is no IOS version of this app? For me that’s already a service i wont use because i need the convenience but only android users can benefit? Not impressive if you’re going all the way include all platforms.
    Whenever I’m in Zim my mobility is always limited but due to this initiative im sure i will be using such apps when im back home.

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