New traffic fines illegal: Experts

THE new traffic fines gazetted by the government last week are illegal and motorists have a right to refuse paying the penalties if demanded by police as spot fines, legal experts and analysts have said.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said although Parliament had passed a presentation of the budget which had pronunciation by the Finance minister introducing the new traffic fines, there was no law yet to support the charges and they could be challenged in the courts of law.

“A resolution of Parliament approving the speech (budget presentation) is not a law-making process, the Finance Act giving effect to the budget measures promulgated on December 31, 2015 has nothing on fines,” he said.

Madhuku said any motorist penalised using the new structure of fines for any traffic offence had a right to challenge it in the courts of law.

“If a person is fined, there are two main options: One is to pay and do nothing about it, thus condoning or allowing the illegality. The second is to refuse to pay and raise illegality in court. However, this second option depends on how the refusal to pay is treated,” Madhuku said.

“If upon refusal, an arrest is made, the illegality point is raised during appearance in court, including seeking a referral to the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Local legal think-tank Veritas said the new traffic fines were still not enforceable as no legal processes had been done to make the fines legally binding.

Government last month announced a new traffic fine structure which has seen penalties for traffic offences going up from a mininimum of $20 to $100 with effect from this month.
However, anti-corruption campaigners have warned that the steep fines were likely to worsen corruption in the police force.

During the parliamentary debates, MPs in the National Assembly spoke against the new tariffs saying they could exarcebate corruption as most motorists would be unable to pay the stipulated amounts and in the process, be open for manipulation. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has already threatened to file a court challenge against the fines.

9 Responses to New traffic fines illegal: Experts

  1. oswell January 7, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    this is madness…how much are we earning in Zimbabwe ?we cant even afford to pay rentals and some dumb carcass decides to charge such high fines..not all of us are thieves like the Zanu guys..to them $100 is loose change for their children.surely Zimbabwe has gone to the dogs nxaa

  2. Soulman January 7, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Very true the fines are illegal and also insentive and immoral. The gvt says they are tryin to prevent lawlessness and accidents on roads but we all know they want to raise revenue. How can you budget on pple breaking the highway code? Yy shld police be law makers on the road convicting motorists without giving them the ryte to appeal an accusation? Jst shows a failed, useless and clueless gvt

    • Luna Kattt January 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

      I q­ui­­­t wo­­­rk­­­­ing m­­­y de­­s­k jo­­­b an­­d n­­o­w, I st­­­art­­­e­d e­­arn­­­in­­g 9­­5 b­­­­­­uck­­­­­­s ho­­­­ur­­­­­l­y…H­­­­o­w I d­i­d i­­­­­­t? I a­­m f­reelan­­­­­cing o­v­­­­­­­er t­h­­­­­e i­n­t­­­­­­­­­­­­ernet! M­­­y la­­­s­t jo­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­b d­id­­­n’t e­­­­­xact­­­­­ly m­­­­­­­­ak­­­­­­e m­­­­­­­­e ha­­­­­­­­­pp­­­­­­y s­­­­­­­­­o I w­­­­­an­t­e­­­­­­d t­­­­­o t­­­­­­­­ak­e a b­­r­e­ak a­­­­nd h­­­av­­­e a f­­­re­­sh s­­tar­­t… A­­­­f­t­e­r 6 y­­­r­s I­t w­­­­as we­­­­­i­rd fo­­r m­e t­o le­­­­­ave m­­y p­­re­­­vi­­­ous j­­­­ob a­n­­­­­d n­­­­­­ow I a­m del­­­igh­ted we­­­r­e i am

      ••••••► w­­w­­w.­­W­­­o­­­r­­­k­­­P­­­o­­­s­­­t­­­3­­­0.­­c­­o­­m­­.

  3. gunguwo January 7, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    This is what happens when 1980 skills are used to run a 2016 nation. Some of the rules are made by people who sat under a tree somewhere in Moza before independence and said “comrade, kana tatora nyika tichazobhadharisa varungu mafines paroad coz vanovhaira nemota dzavo”. Then, cars used to be a luxury and motorists could afford huge fine because they were privileged. And the cars were few – you had every room to exercise caution. Our government refuses to note the several changes that have happened on the geography/landforms of our roads and that cars are now a necessity. Even the poor man now drives but the car is a source of employment/livelihood, and not a luxury. Old clueless government stuck in the past! You want that poor man to pay a fine of $100 when he can’t afford $5 for reflective triangles.

  4. Munhuwozvake January 7, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    $100 fine ie R1500 is too much mosto of us can not afford , its only that the minister drives with his office and never gets a traffic ticket nor pay tollgates so he does not know that even the $2 toll gate is too much for most of us who are driving, tinzwireiwo tsitsi hurumende zvinhu zvakaoma muZim.

    Muchairi weTaxi

  5. WeDenga January 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    kkkkkkkkkk.Well said gunguwo.

  6. Nyasha January 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm #

    Finds are just a deterrence, so why should they be affordable.
    You want to cross a red robot, hit and kill someone and then pay $20? People should just learn to be responsible and become immune to breaking the laws.

  7. zuxamasa January 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    I q­ui­­­t wo­­­rk­­­­ing m­­­y de­­s­k jo­­­b an­­d n­­o­w, I st­­­art­­­e­d e­­arn­­­in­­g 9­­5 b­­­­­­uck­­­­­­s ho­­­­ur­­­­­l­y…H­­­­o­w I d­i­d i­­­­­­t? I a­­m f­reelan­­­­­cing o­v­­­­­­­er t­h­­­­­e i­n­t­­­­­­­­­­­­ernet! M­­­y la­­­s­t jo­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­b d­id­­­n’t e­­­­­xact­­­­­ly m­­­­­­­­ak­­­­­­e m­­­­­­­­e ha­­­­­­­­­pp­­­­­­y s­­­­­­­­­o I w­­­­­an­t­e­­­­­­d t­­­­­o t­­­­­­­­ak­e a b­­r­e­ak a­­­­nd h­­­av­­­e a f­­­re­­sh s­­tar­­t… A­­­­f­t­e­r 6 y­­­r­s I­t w­­­­as we­­­­­i­rd fo­­r m­e t­o le­­­­­ave m­­y p­­re­­­vi­­­ous j­­­­ob a­n­­­­­d n­­­­­­ow I a­m del­­­igh­ted we­­­r­e i am

    ••••••► w­­w­­w.­­b­u­z­z­n­e­w­s­9­9.­­c­­o­­m­­

  8. tsombori January 8, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    saka kana ndichi driver ndisina lisence i pay 100 then after a mile ndobuda muroad ndaita accedent zvabatsirei nhai

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