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Motorists score major victory

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THE High Court yesterday granted an order sought by the Transport Operators’ Association of Zimbabwe (TOAZ) to set aside government’s decision to ban left-hand drive vehicles and to force motorists to carry red reflective triangles and fire extinguishers.

STAFF REPORTER

High Court judge Justice Francis Bere’s ruling struck down the Road Traffic (Construction and Equipment Use) Regulations 2010 contained in Statutory Instrument 154 of 2010, which, among other things, sought to ban left-hand drive vehicles from Zimbabwe’s roads.

TOAZ, led by Bernard Lunga, the owner of Cross Country Containers, a major transporter in Zimbabwe, was represented by lawyers ABC Chinake and Simplicio Bhebhe of Kantor and Immerman.

The association argued that the regulations had been improperly gazetted and, therefore, were null and void.

TOAZ said certain omissions made by the Ministry of Transport in gazetting the regulations and Section 10 (2) of the regulations violated the Road Traffic Act.

Transport minister Nicholas Goche was also accused of
purporting to change an Act of Parliament through regulations and seeking to exercise powers that had not been given to him under the Road Traffic Act.

The Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Office argued that the issuing of the regulations by the “ministry” instead of the “minister” could be seen as an error.

It argued that the error could be excused and that the banning of left-hand drive vehicles was reasonable.

But Justice Bere accepted the TOAZ arguments and declared that the regulations were null and void and invalid. The ministry was ordered to pay the costs.

Police manning roadblocks have had a field day collecting bribes from ordinary citizens under the pretext of enforcing the regulations.

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