Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
MOTORISTS must pay spot fines at road blocks and if they do not have money, they can borrow from their friends or relatives as police cannot follow up offenders who say they will pay at a later date.
This was said by the deputy minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Ruth Mavhungu-Maboyi while answering questions in the house of assembly on Wednesday.
Makoni Central legislator Mr David Tekeshe had asked for clarity with regards to spot fines.
“Is it Government policy that if you commit a traffic offence you are supposed to pay a spot fine? Even if you do not have any money you are forced to pay because long ago, there was 625 where you would need to pay when you get the money,” asked Mr Tekeshe.
In response, deputy minister Mavhungu-Maboyi affirmed.
“That is why it is called a spot fine. It has to be paid at that particular place. You and the police officer are allowed to talk but if you fail to agree, you are then told to sit down and you are given time to think. You can borrow money from others to pay the fine because if we allow you to go without paying, everyone who commits a traffic offence will use that excuse that they do not have money. If you are allowed to go without paying the spot fine, where do you expect the police officer to make a follow up on the payment of the fine? How will he find you?”
Southerton legislator, Mr Peter Moyo then asked the deputy minister if there are other modes of payment such as mobile money or swipe machines available at roadblocks.
Deputy minister Mavhungu-Maboyi said there was no such provision yet.
“I understand the plight. We have little money but police officers do not have swipe machines. This is one thing that we are going to consider and they also do not have EcoCash because I think it will be so difficult for them. We understand there is no money but because people are committing crimes, we need to fine them. When we speak about the swipe machines, we will try to discuss it as a Ministry but there will be a lot of these machines because the country is so big. We are appealing to the public to drive and at the same time have cash so that they can pay spot fines if they commit offences,” said the deputy minister.
Chegutu legislator Cde Dexter Nduna suggested that fines be uploaded onto the Zimbabwe Transport Management System as opposed to detaining motorists at roadblocks.
Cde Nduna said when paying for vehicle licences the offenders also pay the fine.
Proportional representation legislator Ms Joyce Makonya said lack of options to pay the spot fine will breed corruption.
Deputy minister Mavhungu-Maboyi acknowledged saying:
“This is why we are saying we should have spot fines because we do not want people to negotiate. Once we start negotiating, we are going to negotiate and end up in corruption. This is why we are emphasising on spot fines. People must just pay their fines,” said the deputy minister.