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Mthuli Ncube's hefty traffic fines yet to kick in

by Staff reporter
13 Jan 2019 at 08:38hrs | Views
THE $700 road traffic fines to deal with errant road users that were supposed to come into effect on 1 January, have been parked as the Senate is still to look at the Finance Bill which contained the new measures, it has been learnt.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube proposed in the 2019 National Budget that fines be raised to a maximum of $700 or imprisonment on errant and negligent motorists who flagrantly ignore road regulations.

Road traffic offences are currently classified under levels 1 to 3 of the standard scale of fines and attract a maximum fine of $30.

In an interview, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said as police they have not started issuing the tickets as they have not been given the green light to do so.

"For now we are waiting for feedback from Senate, the Bill has passed through Parliament and it awaits approval from the next stage which is Senate. So we have not yet started implementing the new fines," he said.

Asst Comm Nyathi said the police were also still to get the scales of fines and charges. Home Affairs Minister Cde Cain Mathema said it was the mandate of the Ministry of Finance to look into it. Under the new revenue measures announced in the budget, fines on errant motorists were raised to levels eight to 10. Parliament approved the Finance Bill on 20 December.

However, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi is on record saying measures contained in the Finance Bill must have become operational since the Bill was unique.

"The Finance Bill is a different kind of Bill compared to others that come to Parliament. Certain processes do not apply to it. That is why you find even the measures set by the Minister of Finance (and Economic Development) that are effective midnight on the day he presented the budget, automatically become effective.

All those measures that are effective on 1 January 2019 will come to effect. Also note that the Finance Bill sailed through in the National Assembly, and if we look at the Constitution and other rules of Parliament with regard the Finance Bill, Senate cannot reject it or amend it. What they can simply do is refer back to the Lower House. So, effectively, all proposals in the budget are allowed and they take effect," said Minister Ziyambi.

The new measures were meant to tame traffic accidents which have continued to result in loss of lives. Traffic accidents during last Christmas holidays claimed 12 lives - an increase from the nine people that were killed during the same period last year while 63 were injured.

Worryingly, all the 122 accidents that were recorded during the period were blamed on human error. There have been complaints among motorists over the new proposed fines with some saying although they were meant to deal with errant motorists, they were unrealistic compared to the situation on the ground.

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Source - zimpapers