18 February 2015
A HARARE motorist on Wednesday 18 February 18, 2015 filed a constitutional challenge in the Constitutional Court seeking an order to stop the Zimbabwe Republic Police from demanding or compelling motorists to pay fines on the spot as the police practice is invalid and inconsistent with the Constitution.
In an application filed on Wednesday 18 February 18, 2015 by his lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga and Bhatasara Legal Practitioners, who is a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Andrew Makunura, wants the Constitutional Court to grant an order declaring that the demand to pay a fine on the spot from motorists by the police is constitutionally invalid as it violates Makunura’s rights enshrined in Section 69 (1) and (3), 66, 68, 71 and 86 (3) of the Constitution.
Makunura had his driver’s licence confiscated at a roadblock mounted by the police in Harare’s Glen Norah suburb on 12 February 2015 as he was driving his children to school and taking his wife to work.
The police demanded that he pay a spot fine amounting to $10 for a radio broadcasting licence which he allegedly failed to display on his vehicle.
Makunura advised the police officers that he had no money on him and asked to be allowed to leave and drop his children at school and pay the fine later after giving them his residential address as well as his work address.
But the police turned down his offer and insisted that he pays the fine before they later released him and asked him to return and pay the fine before lunchtime after spending more than one hour holed up at the roadblock which resulted in his children arriving late at school.
Makunura charged that by demanding that he pays the fine on the spot, the police arrogated to themselves to be the complainant, prosecutor, judge/jury and executioner and that his fundamental rights are likely to be infringed by the police.
By confiscating his driver’s licence, the police, Makunura, who cited Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Constable Agrippa Chinyama and Attorney General as respondents charged, had infringed on his right to freedom of movement protected under Section 66 of the Constitution.
The Harare motorist now wants the Constitutional Court to stop the police and cease the demand compelling motorists to pay fines on the spot and to declare any law, practice, custom or conduct by the police allowing the demand or payment of a fine on the spot to be invalid to the extent of its inconsistency with the Constitution.