HomeLocal News‘Traffic cops using illegal ticket books’

‘Traffic cops using illegal ticket books’

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Traffic police are using illegal ticket books to fine road offenders, a legal expert has said.

Chris Mhike, a human rights lawyer, said money realised from traffic roadblocks should be remitted to the Clerk of Court and original copies of the tickets issued by police at roadblocks should be kept at the Clerk of Court.

According to instructions on the ticket form, the original copy should be submitted to the director of finance, Police General Headquarters, while the duplicates would be retained by the offender, the triplicate by the national traffic police and the first copy remaining in the ticket book.

According to Mhike, the police were using illegal ticket books and the practice by the police to retain all the money realised at the roadblocks was illegal as the money was supposed to be remitted to the Ministry of Finance.

“In terms of the Road Traffic Act (Chapter 13:11), all fees payable or collected from the driving public in terms of the statute must be transmitted in full to the national fiscus, that is the Consolidated Revenue Fund,” Mhike said.

“There are a few exceptional circumstances where part of the funds collected may be retained by the person/ institution collecting the money. For instance, in terms of Section 85 of the Road Traffic Act, ‘if any fees payable in terms of this Act are collected by an issuer of licences not employed by the State, there may be paid to such person as the minister (of Home Affairs) may determine in respect of such collection’,” he said.

Recently, Finance minister Tendai Biti lamented lack of government funding, saying Treasury was being prejudiced by the illegal activities of the police. He said police force was not remitting over $1 million raised from traffic roadblocks through spot fines.

But a week later, Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi hit back saying the police would not remit their collections to the Treasury arguing Biti was deliberately seeking to ground the force by denying it funding.

Some senior police officers who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity said the system now used by the police was subject to abuse by the police officers themselves.
“We actually have situations where the traffic police, mainly from Highway Patrol, end up using means to reproduce ticket books and pocket all the money realised at some roadblocks,” said one police officer.

He said because the traffic police were realising much money for the police force, they were now receiving favours, causing disharmony among members of the force.

“Some of the said police officers from the traffic section now earn as high as
$1 000 in allowances every week as incentives, to add to the other money they divert at the roadblocks,” said the bitter officer.

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