Court hears Zim cellphone driving case

MOBILE

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Court hears Zim cellphone driving case

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE MOBILE NEWS

Mobile Africa 2015: African phone use decoded

A survey of mobile phone usage in five African countries has delivered startling findings on the rise of Internet access via phones, the potential demise of Nokia and the continued appeal of BlackBerry. Read More

President Jonathan commends operators on National Mobile Health Insurance collaboration

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has commended telecoms operators for their collaborative efforts in putting Nigerians on the National Mobile Health Insurance programme platform. Read More

Vodafone Ghana Fixed Broadband customers get bundle extension

Vodafone Ghana says it will soon be offering a one-week validity extension to all fixed broadband users in the country.  Read More

Airtel, UNAIDS partner

The Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has explained that the partnership of the telco with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will allow ample opportunity to further promote its Touching Lives initiative aimed at positively impacting on Nigerians, especially in the area of quality healthcare ... Read More

GSMA: mobile phone gender gap emerges

A new GSMA report says over 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries do not own mobile phones. Read More

French phone maker Archos debuts in Nigeria

French mobile devices major, Archos Societe Anonymes, at the weekend in Lagos, launched its range products and connected objects, promising to redefine the service offering in the country. Read More

Glo’s smart plan gives enhanced voice, value to customers

Globacom subscribers on the postpaid platform will enjoy up to 5,000 free Short Messaging Service (SMS), up to 50GB data and up to 50 hours of free voice calls in a new and unprecedented Smart Postpaid Plan launched by the company in Lagos. Read More

Airtel Kenya launches UnlimiNET bundles for unlimited connections

Airtel Kenya has announced the introduction of a flexible and affordable bundled tariff dubbed UnlimiNET.  Read More

African Android growth makes strong headway for mobile internet access

Africa is poised to become a hotbed for mobile growth and commerce in the coming years, according to Opera Mediaworks’ State of Mobile Advertising report released today. Read More

Orange rolls out Wi-Fi in Bungoma County

Integrated telecommunications solutions provider Orange has rolled out Wi-Fi in Bungoma County. The Wi-Fi solution, which is in its first phase, covers the county headquarters in Bungoma and the town.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings heade-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India. 

COMPANY NEWS

Schneider Electric sponsored runner wins 2015 Paris Marathon

Ethiopian runner, Meseret Mengistu (26), has won the prestigious 2015 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris women’s race in 2:23:24. 

CNN, MultiChoice launch 20th African Journalist Awards

CNN International and MultiChoice this week officially launched the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 Awards.