BULAWAYO High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva has rapped the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) for impounding licensed rigs allegedly caught fishing in prohibited areas.
BY RICHARD MUPONDE
In a judgment delivered last Friday and in favour of Binga businessman Taurai Marava, Takuva said impounding of the rigs was absurd and tantamount to forfeiting a vehicle because its owner exceeded the speed limit.
Marava had approached the High Court seeking the release of his two fishing rigs, which Zimparks had impounded for fishing in prohibited waters in August 2017.
Zimparks was demanding $4 000 fine for the release of two boats, but Takuva declared the impounding illegal.
“Whichever way one looks at it, the interpretation sought by the respondent (Zimparks) leads to clear absurdity in that an owner of a registered and licensed vessel that commits an offence deemed to warrant $2 000 fine will have his vessel impounded,” the judge said.
“Not only that, such owner is required to pay an appropriate fee in the sum of US$2 000,00. Clearly, the applicant (Marava) will be exposed to double jeopardy in terms of the Act and regulations. To proceed that way would be similar to impound or forfeit a motor vehicle, registered and licensed to be on the road because its owner exceeded the speed limit or did not possess a driver’s licence. The absurdity is laid bare by this example.”
He said vessels which should be impounded and fined the $2 000 were those unlicensed and fishing without permits issued by Zimparks in terms of the Act.
Marava approached the Bulawayo High Court under case number HC 2712/17, seeking an order for the release of the rigs.