Court hears Zim cellphone driving case


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


MTN Cameroon launches fight against SIM box fraud

MTN Cameroon has hosted a summit aimed at kick-starting a crackdown on SIM box fraud, which costs telcos millions in lost revenue annually. Read More

Mobile contribution to SSA economy passes $100bn

The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa contributed more than US$100 billion to the region’s economy last year, according to a new GSMA study.  Read More

MTN SA launches first data bundles valid for 12 months

MTN has become the first operator in South Africa to launch data bundles that are valid for 12 months.  Read More

Why companies are scared of going mobile

More than 65 percent of companies are overdue to deploy Mobile Workforce Solution (MWS) apps, but are failing to do so due to unfounded fears, says One Channel. Read More

Airtel Ghana passes 4m subscriber mark

Airtel Ghana has recorded 8.77% growth in voice and 13.3% growth in data subscriptions. Read More

Samsung Ghana launches Galaxy S6 Edge+ Galaxy Note 5 in grand style

Samsung has launched its new S6 Edge+ and Note 5 devices in Ghana. Read More

Tecno Mobile launches Phantom 5

Having sold 45 million units of its mobile devices in Africa last year, Tecno Mobile has launched the latest of its mobile phone devices in the Phantom series, known as Phantom 5. Read More

Mobilethink seeks to solve Africa’s $6bn cloned device dilemma

With 10-20% of mobile devices coming into a network being cloned or counterfeit mobiles, Mobilethink is launching an automatic device detection solution. Read More

Samsung unveils Palm Selfie Competition

Samsung Electronics West Africa has announced the launch of a new brand theme, Dream Your Dream, which seeks to nurture the aspirations of young Nigerians who have great dreams with the potential to impact the country positively. Read More

ALCATEL ONETOUCH reveals Nigeria growth plans

ALCATEL ONETOUCH, described as one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone manufacturers, is set to launch a wide range of affordable yet attractive and feature-rich mobile devices into the Nigerian market. Read More


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


Connectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chiefConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief

Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.