'Spot fines to stay'

HARARE - Home Affairs permanent secretary Melusi Matshiya yesterday told legislators that spot fines will stay forever.

Presenting oral evidence before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, Matshiya said spot fines are convenient for police until the law enforcement agency digitalises its operations.

“The official position is spot fines are there to stay and it is legal for police to collect the fines on spot,” Matshiya said.

“In cases where one doesn’t have the money, it can be discussed with the officer-in-charge and make arrangements to pay later.

“The problem we have from such arrangements is we have had people giving false addresses and we go on a wild goose chase. You end up spending $500 to recover $20, that’s not viable.”

The sentiments come after Justice Andrew Mutema made a ruling against police in a case presented by former MDC MP for Lupane West, Njabuliso Mguni barring police from collecting spot fines.

Although well received by the public, the police force is apparently uncomfortable with losing its major cash-cow.

Clifford Sibanda, the committee’s chair, queried why the police was failing to bring culprits to book through vehicle registration tracking.

Matshiya said his ministry is pushing for an electronic traffic management system to holistically deal with problems associated with spot fines and general corruption.

“While Zinara (Zimbabwe National Roads Administration) has done what it can, police hasn’t,” Matshiya said.

“I want a situation where the police can just key in and get the information rather than the current situation where we have a police officer sitting on the opposite chair asking for information from the Central Vehicle Registration department.”

Through spot fines, traffic police have been accused of fuelling corruption on the highways.

Several police officers have been convicted over the vice.

Comments (14)

The police now employ two kinds of spot fines book, a few from the govt exchequer printed by government printers while the bulk of the books are police books printed by police printers. The money received from the unauthorized police books does no go to the state but into police coffers and is not audited and subject to massive abuse by police command. This is why you see every police officer holding a fine books and the bosses are reluctant to tackle corruption since they are gaining a lot, new cars, allowances etc.

Alex Darise - 12 May 2015

How can one tell the difference between the two books?

Robin Roselli - 13 May 2015

F%£$ secretary..there is no law that forces a Zimbabwe citizen to make a spot fine!! You know that but coz there is lawlessness in this banana republic you can say what your stupid masters want to hear.

Garikayi - 13 May 2015

Spot fines are the reasons why there are countless road blocks. When we come to work, police hold up hundreds of vehicles on the road, and the flow of traffic is very slow, resulting in people getting to work late. If we add up all the time lost due to late arrivals at work, will it not amount to hundreds of hours per day? How will this country's economy move forward when we ignore these things that the authorities think are small. As we struggle past the clumsy police road blocks, no-one will be working for this country. And someone still shouts ZIMASSET. There is no ZIMASSET to talk about when workers are held up on the road and not at work.

machakachaka - 13 May 2015

Spot Fines NDIZVO!! NHIZVO!! Tirikuluma isu vamwe Hamheno imi I recently got posted to the Traffic section and benefits are already showing.

Mukanya - 13 May 2015

The police force must DIGITALIZE its operations on vehicles How will they track down stolen vehicles etc. I also find it very disturbing for a Judge to make a ruling in the motorists' favour regarding payment of spot fines ONLY for the Police to refuse to abide by the ruling Who is the binding LAW in this case is it The Judge or Mapurisa?

Tonderayi Chanakira - 13 May 2015

i just hate these spot fines...so sad i cant do anything abt it but they are just a pain in the butt, i am a law abiding citizen but i think the police give me a raw deal each time they accuse me of flouting traffic laws...at times im left with no choice...

hey - 13 May 2015

Erhh excume..."spot fines will stay forever"? Something must have been lost in translation there...Will Matshiya live forever to see to it that they stay forever? Anywhere these spot fines are cashcows which subsidise police incomes so there might be a riot if they are deprived of "eating" because those they are protecting are also "eating" elsewhere.

Galore 123 - 13 May 2015

When is the police going to digitalise ? and are officer -in - charge mandated to try motorist ? Motorists must stand their ground and fight this monster Police corruption .

SOBER SENSE - 13 May 2015

Payments of fines , is it a business? Mr Secretary, sort out the mess in yr government, not off loading your budden onto the public. According to the CP & E act, a motorist is supposed to be given time to pay. Payment of fine means admission of guity. What if I dont admit to the allegations? What will the police do? You are also promoting CORRUPTION. Lets not do what is convinient to the Police but lets do what is lawful. We cannot take whatever you agree as politburo as the law. Zimbabweans, Until when tichingodzvanyirirwa takasvinura sematemba??

Piaget - 13 May 2015

Spot fine probably makes some sense if it is applied to a foreign registered vehicle driven by a person who is a resident outside the country and that person must be willing to pay if ever he agrees to have committed that offence. "What is wild goose chase?" Police arrest someone with one or more of these in his/her possession valid driver's licence issued at VID, national Identity document/ Passport issued by Home affairs, vehicle registration book then there is no reason not to know information about the driver. If a person don't have money he must be given time frame to pay and a court date in the event he fails to pay it " thats the law in this country" If the offender fails to go to court he commits another offence and warrant is issued at court and upon his arrest he will be locked up. thats what is written in law books.Actions of police at the moment is making motorists to become more Rogue and the goal of making roads safe is not being achieved .

X-MAN IV - 13 May 2015

Nothing wrong with spot fines. What is wrong is corruption anywhere else in the world.

Den - 14 May 2015

Nothing wrong with spot fines. What is wrong is corruption anywhere else in the world.

Den - 14 May 2015

Matshiya!? Who is Matshiya and what does he know about the Law, let alone Police Opertions? I used to be a police officer in the 90s. We used to issue defaulting motorists with 'tickets'. On that ticket, the following date will be clearly laid down; - Give motorist 7 days to admit guilt and pay fine; - If the motorist does not pay fine within 7 days given, the next Friday will automatically be a court appearance date. If the motorist does not appear in court that Friday, a warrant of arrest is issued and the motorist ceases to be a traffic officer and becomes a criminal - a wanted criminal. Foreign registered vehicles were always required to pay spot fines because they were flight risks. Thought I might clarify!

Moyo - 14 May 2015

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