Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

*** The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union. ***

Spot fines to end…They drive corruption, Minister Chombo says

Spot fines to end…They drive corruption, Minister Chombo says

spot-fineLloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau
TRAFFIC police officers will soon stop collecting fines for traffic offences in cash at roadblocks to curb corruption in the force, the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Ignatius Chombo, said yesterday.

The Minister said the government was working on mechanisms to ensure fines were paid through an electronic system.

Minister Chombo also revealed that about 320 police officers were fired from the force last year for various offences bordering on abuse of office through corrupt activities.

He said this in the Senate during a Questions without Notice Session as he also revealed plans to install satellites at all roadblocks to curb corruption.

Minister Chombo was responding to MDC-T Senator for Matabeleland South, Sithembile Mlotshwa, who wanted to know the purpose of roadblocks and what the government was doing about corruption allegations against traffic police officers.

He said traffic cops played a major role in policing to ensure only roadworthy and registered vehicles brought into the country legally were on the roads.

Minister Chombo said there had been an upsurge in the importation of stolen vehicles from countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa while others were legitimately bought but smuggled into the country without paying duty.

He said police roadblocks were also meant to guard against speeding.

“Out of all the 50,000 police officers that we have, some of them may not be forthright as you and I may want,” said Minister Chombo.

“Last year, we dismissed 320 police officers for stealing and abusing their offices at roadblocks and other offices. So the police is keen to clean up those police officers who’re contravening the laws that they’re supposed to uphold.”

Minister Chombo said the issue of spot fines at roadblocks was of concern to the government and mechanisms were in place to stop the rot.

He said people were concerned that some of the money collected at roadblocks was not sent to Treasury as provided for in the law.

“I want to inform this august House that there’s a paper circulating in government whereby roadblocks will be manned by satellite so that from an office in Harare you can see what’s happening at a roadblock in Tsholotsho and you can pay using methods such plastic money or mobile transfers.

“There will not be any cash that will be exchanged. Therefore we will be reducing the temptation for police officers to be corrupt. So I’m really on your side. The issues you raise are legitimate. Just give us a couple of weeks, it will be a thing of the past,” said Minister Chombo.

Zanu-PF Senator for Manicaland Cde Shadreck Chipanga said there was a recent court judgment that spot fines were illegal.

To that end, he asked Minister Chombo to confirm whether it was now government policy to defy court judgments by allowing police officers to demand spot fines.

Minister Chombo said he was not aware of the judgment adding that he would check.

He said in the event that there was such a judgment, the police should comply since they were expected to protect the law.

High Court Judge, Justice Francis Bere, last year said the collection of spot fines from motorists by the police and impounding of their vehicles if they failed to pay up was illegal and must be stopped forthwith.

He made the remarks while officially opening the 2015 Masvingo High Court legal year.

Justice Bere said there was neither a legal framework nor law which compelled a motorist to pay a spot fine or empowered police to impound someone’s vehicle.

He said Section 356 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07), which is often cited on the matter, did not give police officers powers to force a motorist to pay a spot fine.

Justice Bere said spot fines and their retention by the police needed to be clarified as the matter had caused a lot of confusion.

However, the police dismissed Justice Bere’s statement saying it was of no legal force since it was not a court ruling but his opinion.

Contact Us

Harare Show Grounds,
Belvedere,
Harare, Zimbabwe.

P O Box WGT 390, Westgate, Harare, Zimbabwe.

phone  +263 4 770029 / 770057 / 770059
                   770071 / 771079

email  Email us here

Places  Find us on Google Maps

Name (*)

Invalid Input
Your Email (*)

Invalid Input
Subject

Invalid Input
Message (*)

Invalid Input
Please enter the text below
Please enter the text below
  Refresh
Invalid Input