HARARE – Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni says police will continue to defy High Court orders as long as they “compromise the country’s security”.
Speaking in the National Assembly last week, Mguni said the police service would not discontinue the issuance of spot fines as they had no capacity to pursue errant drivers after the crime has been committed.
Mguni was responding to MDC vice president Elias Mudzuri who enquired the ministry’s policy as regards to court judgments that orders police not to force motorists to pay spot fines.
“..if there is a system that the court says we must not do, we have also the right to go and oppose that system,” Mguni said to loud interjections from legislators.
“Why — because we have got reasons why we want to use a system that will maintain Posa in this country. At the moment, we opposed that because we want to use a system which will control vehicles. We cannot just allow anything that is intruding to our security to be implemented. We have to balance it for the country,” he said.
Mguni said the police service was moving to computerise their operation adding 500 gadgets have been deployed into the country to eliminate manually written invoices.
“Also, we are eradicating corruption where that machine must detect the system, the offence and actually eject an invoice which is corresponding with the offence, not from a human error or a human’s mind. This is where we are shifting now,” he said.
However, Mudzuri felt government had immediate solutions to spot fines which it was reluctant to implement.
“..you want to come up with these new measures, the courts have come up with judgments that if a person has no spot fine, he should be given a Form 265 and they proceed.
“..We are saying, put that form into use so that if I do not have the money, I could even go to court. Once you have put these measures that you are talking about, then you can bring in your gadgets that can then test these issues.”
But Mguni was adamant.
When I ended my answer I said if something has been ruled in court and we see that it is compromising our security systems, we have the right to oppose,” he said.
“Let me articulate correctly to him. Number one, remember I mentioned here that the registration of our vehicles in Zimbabwe needs to be integrated and computerised.
“Most of the people that are stopped at roadblocks for fines — you will find that the driver does not have a licence; the car he is driving is not his and the owner is not known. If you let that person go and pay at a police station, how will he pay? He is not known. The address and vehicle do not correspond. You cannot be always doing what he wants. We need to enforce the law and see that the person pays.”