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Motorist demands US$132 fine refund

Local News
Harare City Council

A HARARE motorist is demanding a US$132 refund from the Harare City Council’s subsidiary City Parking after his vehicle was clamped in the central business district on March 8 over parking fee arrears.

Gladman Bandama, who is being represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, gave the local authority 48 hours to refund him or face court action.

Bandama’s Toyota Corolla was clamped at the Central Vehicle Registry offices along Robson Manyika Avenue.

It is alleged that he had paid parking fees for an hour, but was delayed by 15 minutes only to find his vehicle clamped.

Bandama allegedly offered to pay the parking fees for another hour, but the marshals refused and billed him US$132 in fines, split as US$50 penalty, US$65 clamp charge and value-added tax US$17. His vehicle was not towed away after he paid the fine.

“In terms of section 4(4) of the Harare (Clamping and Tow Away) By-laws 2005, clamp charges are only chargeable when a motor vehicle has been moved to a secure compound. There is no legal provision for payment of clamp charges when the vehicle has not been moved to a secure compound,” Bandama submitted through his lawyers.

Chinopfukutwa said his client was entitled to a four-day grace period to pay the fine in terms of the Municipal Traffic Laws Enforcement Act.

In terms of section 5 of the Municipal Traffic Laws Enforcement Act, Chapter 29:10, payment of penalties should be made to the town clerk or a council officer.

“There is no provision for delegation of the Harare City Council’s powers to fines to a third party, which in this case is receipt of fines and penalties on receiving payments for yourselves. Consequently, your acting on behalf of the Harare City Council is, therefore, unlawful.”

Chinopfukutwa argued that parking marshals had no legal authority to enforce traffic by-laws on behalf of the City of Harare.

“In terms of section 4(6) of the Municipal Traffic Laws Enforcement Act, an authorised person is a peace officer or a person employed under any law as a parking supervisor.

“In the instant case, your parking marshals are neither peace officers or employed in terms of any law,” Chinopfukutwa wrote.

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