Court hears Zim cellphone driving case
MOBILE| Aug. 6, 2012, 7:59 a.m.
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabweans caught using a mobile phone while driving cannot be prosecuted under the country’s present laws, says a High Court judge in a landmark judgement.
Justice Maphios Cheda said police were empowered to impose a fine not exceeding USD200 for serious breaches.
“There is no specific penalty for contravening Section 16B (1) (a) of Statutory Instrument 299/2002 (using a mobile phone while driving but, such penalty is found in the proviso of Section 81 (5) of the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 13:11, which states that no such penalty shall exceed a fine of level 5 or imprisonment for a period of six months or both such fine and such imprisonment,” said the judge in the case of Zaine Babbage.
Babbage was arrested using a cellphone while driving on 23 January last year. Bulawayo provincial magistrate Sikhumbuzo Nyathi sentenced him to 14 days in prison without the option of a fine.
In his Notice of Appeal filed by his lawyer, Mr Charles Paul Moyo, of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, Babbage argued that the sentence imposed was so manifestly excessive that it ‘induced a sense of shock’.
Justice Cheda said after consulting Mr Whisper Mabaudhi of the Attorney-General’s Office, he was advised that the practice of sending cellphone offenders to court was adopted after a meeting between the provincial police command and the provincial judicial committee upon realising that motorists continued to commit the offence.
“However, the practice, despite its good intention, is unlawful as the two provincial structures have no legal authority to alter or amend the provisions of an existing legislation. Such duty is the domain of the legislature or the designated minister.
Justice Cheda said the correct legal position, which should be followed by the relevant authorities, is that where a motorist is caught using a cellphone, he should be issued with a ticket to pay a fine.
The judgment handed down on Justice Cheda’s behalf last Thursday by Justice Lawrence Kamocha, who concurred with the judgement.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Tablets improving workplace productivityDell today announced the results of its 2014 International Tablet survey of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) indicating that current implementations of tablets in the workplace are good for business. Read More
MTN Foundation holds breast cancer screening in EnuguIn a drive to create renewed awareness about Breast Cancer, MTN Foundation (MTNF), the corporate social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, has taken its free breast cancer screening to residents of the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Read More
MTN Uganda receives US$100 000 towards community projectsMTN Group today recognised employees in Uganda for their selflessness and dedication towards improving the lives of ordinary people, including the blind, as part of this year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign, a popular employee volunteer initiative in MTN markets. Read More
Airtel partners with UNESCO for youth IT training in GabonBharti Airtel has unveiled a new training programme to impart new technological skills to thousands of youth in Gabon in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Read More
Samsung donates 3,000 smartphones in support of the fight against EbolaSamsung Electronics Co will donate 3,000 smartphones, worth about USD 1 million, to support the ongoing fight against Ebola. Read More
Tigo gives customers free 250MB data on Alcatel smartphonesTigo Ghana is giving away free 250MB data and 60 minutes' talk time per month for a year to customers who purchase the latest Alcatel Pixi 2 handset. Read More
Huawei joins Vodafone to bolster E-learning in refugee campHuawei has come out in support of an initiative to supply over 18,000 refugee students in Africa’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, with tablet PCs for education. Read More
SA author writes acclaimed novel using BlackBerry smartphoneA South African businessman and author has written an entire novel using his smartphone. Read More
Blu Telecommunications partners Huawei on 4G LTE networkBlu Telecommunications, a Ghanaian owned and managed telecommunications company deploying ultra-fast 4G LTE network ,will partner Huawei Technologies to provide a wide range of telecommunications services using 4G LTE technology. Read More
Airtel Malawi launches US$35,000 Musical CompetitionAirtel Malawi has launched a K14 million (US$34,508.26) mobile music competition which will be conducted in a partnership with Trace Music Star and international music super star Akon. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.