Court hears Zim cellphone driving case
MOBILEBy BiztechAfrica - 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
TNM donates K500,000 to paediatrics groupMobile phone provider TNM has donated K500,000 to the Paediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA). Read More
YooMee Côte d’Ivoire launches TD-LTEAfter becoming the market leader of broadband Internet in Cameroon, YooMee Africa continues its expansion by deploying its network in Côte d’Ivoire. Read More
tn mobile 3G now in TsumebTelecom Namibia’s mobile business, tn mobile, has extended its 3G+ and 4G (LTE) based mobile network to Tsumeb in the Oshikoto region. Read More
Vodafone Healthfest train stops at James TownVodafone Ghana, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility through the Vodafone Foundation, has held another ground breaking health initiative dubbed the HealthFest. Read More
Orange to power Nakuru free Wi-FiNakuru is to become the first town in Kenya to have free Wi-Fi access. Read More
Nokia unveils 6 inch smartphones in GhanaNokia has announced the introduction of its first 6 inch Lumia smart phones into the Ghanaian phone market, the Lumia 1520, Nokia’s top of the range Windows Phone and affordable Lumia 1320. Read More
tn mobile 3G now in OshikotoTelecom Namibia’s mobile business, tn mobile, has launched its 3G service at Omuthiya, the regional capital of Oshikoto region. Read More
Orange launches low cost WiFi at KUOrange has launched a low cost wireless Internet solution at the Kenyatta University’s main campus that will provide the varsity’s students with reliable and affordable Internet access. Read More
Telecom Namibia launches Speedlink LiteTelecom Namibia has announced the launch of its first ever Speedlink broadband packages for residential, small office/home (SOHO) customers. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSFurther African expansion for Phoenix
Phoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East ...