High Court halts traffic cops

HARARE - The High Court has set aside a Zimbabwean government law compelling motorists to carry fire extinguishers, among other instruments, and a ban on left-handed trucks.

The ruling, delivered by Justice Francis Bere, comes after a Transport Operator’s Association of Zimbabwe (TOAZ) challenge handled by leading corporate lawyers Addington Chinake, and Simplicio Bhebhe.

Under the High Court case number 2276/12, Cross Country Containers owner and Association representative Bernard Lunga argued the regulations had been “improperly gazetted”, hence were null and void.

Crucially, Nicholas Goche’s Transport ministry had made key omissions and section 10 (2) of the recent regulations violated the Road Traffic Act (RTA) “in that the minister purported to change an Act of Parliament through regulations”.

Further, he sought “to exercise powers that had not been given to him under the RTA.”

In its defence, the Attorney General’s civil division tried to argue that the issue of the regulations by the “ministry and not the minister could be seen as an error”, therefore it must be excused.

On left-hand vehicles, the bumbling department also claimed that the ban “was reasonable”, but Bere accepted the Toaz arguments and declared the regulations be invalidated.

While it was not clear by the time of going to press whether Goche’s office would appeal, the ministry has been ordered to pay the costs of the suit.

The verdict might also come as a relief to the motoring public as they were at the mercy of “bent” cops, who were demanding bribes over reflectors, red triangles and other equipment under the 2010 road traffic laws.

Meanwhile, the development is expected to reignite debate and interest among Zimbabweans after another court challenge to spot fines by the Zimbabwe Republic Police in recent times.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.