Spot fines to go

Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi has said Cabinet is set to craft a policy to stop the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) from demanding spot fines from motorists.

Mohadi, who was on Wednesday grilled by MPs during Parliaments question-and-answer session over the issue of spot fines and intensified police roadblocks, said the policy would seek to stop motorists from paying spot fines.

He added that instead they would be required to pay the fine at a police station or the nearest court.

We are saying if people have been asked to pay spot fines, that is an operational stance by the ZRP, but as Cabinet we are saying we want to come up with a policy to stop spot fines so that a person is given a ticket and they go to pay the fine at a police station or nearest court, Mohadi said.

But, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said they would enforce heavier traffic regulations in Harare because there were still problems on the roads.

Each province has its own problems and traffic problems experienced in Harare are different from those in Matabeleland North or other provinces, said Bvudzijena.

We still have problems on the roads as some motorists are going through red robots and we are going to enforce strict traffic regulations without apologising for that enforcement.

Matabeleland North police boss Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai this week said the province had scaled down the police blitz following a public outcry.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told Parliament that Cabinet had tasked Mohadi to investigate the increased roadblocks on the countrys roads.

This followed an outcry by the public and motorists who accused police of fleecing them by demanding hefty spot fines and bribes at the numerous roadblocks.

Commuter omnibus operators plying the Harare-Norton route staged a demonstration against the police blitz claiming there were five roadblocks on the 40km stretch where they were asked to pay at each point.

Mohadis counterpart Theresa Makone, who also appeared before Parliament on Wednesday, said it was illegal for police to smash vehicle windscreens to stop motorists from evading police saying the measure endangered passengers lives.

There is no advantage in smashing of windscreens, suffice to say it endangers the lives of the travelling public. In normal police situations, the most appropriate equipment to use are spikes which deflate tyres.

Smashing windscreens impairs the vision of drivers and is clearly a violation of the Road Traffic Act, Makone said. Contrary to NewsDay investigations, Mohadi said funds collected from offending motorists were being remitted to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs for onward transfer to Treasury.

The money that is collected from tickets goes to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and not to the Home Affairs Ministry, he said.

It is understood that traffic police were using a different ticket book for receipting cash for spot fines.

Before the latest blitz, police used to penalise traffic offenders under Form Z.69 (J) which produced four copies the first one for the clerk of court, the second for a person admitting guilt, the third for the station issuing the ticket and the fourth would remain in the ticket book as a fast copy. The fines were transmitted to courts for forwarding to Treasury.

But the new ticket book labelled ZRP NTFC has instructions that the first copy goes to the Police General Headquarters (PGHQ finance director), the second copy to the traffic offender, the third copy to national traffic and fourth copy remains in the ticket book.

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