Zim cops to use garnishee orders against traffic offenders - reports

2016-04-25 11:11

Harare – Zimbabwean traffic authorities want to place garnishee orders on offenders’ bank accounts to recover outstanding fines, according, the Sunday News reported.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police’s plan was only at the "idea phase" so far, spokesperson Charity Charamba was quoted as saying. 

Roadblocks are a constant feature on Zimbabwe's fairly limited road network. The frequency of them irks many motorists: sometimes there can be as many as four on a 14km stretch of road. 

Police ticket motorists for obvious offences like speeding, but there are numerous petty offences that attract instant fines. 

Motorists can be fined for not having the correct honeycomb print on reflective stickers on their rear bumper, or for a non-working light bulb above the rear number-plate (even if the other bulb is working and one is driving in daylight).

Police demand fines on-the-spot, but sometimes drivers do not have enough money on them. 

They are supposed to take their ticket and pay their fine at a police station within seven days. However, offenders give false information at roadblocks to avoid paying, Charamba said.

She said new "technology" police want to use will store the details of each licensed driver in Zimbabwe.

"If one is ticketed and does not pay then we can easily follow up using those details and bring them to book," she said.

The only problem is many Zimbabweans do not use banks. According to last year’s FinScope Consumer Survey, around 70% of the population is unbanked. This is partly due to lack of confidence in the banking sector as a result of the 2000-8 economic crisis, and partly due to prohibitive bank charges. 

It emerged this month that the national football governing body Zifa is also operating without a bank account.

Mobile money transfer platforms like Econet Wireless's EcoCash have found a ready market among Zimbabweans who shun traditional banks.

"Another good reason to use the Bank of Under The Mattress," one Zimbabwean reader tweeted in response to Sunday's reports.

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