Police refuse to recognise Chinese products

As cabinet ponders how to deal with the issue of spot fines, traffic police manning the numerous road blocks are refusing to accept Chinese-made vehicle accessories and demanding that motorists pay fines instead.

Nicolas Goche
Nicolas Goche

Numerous motorists are now left between the proverbial hard place and a rock because they say these are the only products available.

Co-minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, told Parliament recently that spot fines are illegal. But the police are still demanding on-the-spot payment from motorists for a host of infringements.

“After all the noise about the numerous road blocks, they have reduced but police now demand that every motorist carry a fire extinguisher, spare wheel and jack – they now demand that these should carry a stamp from the Standards Association of Zimbabwe,” said motorist Peter Mukura.

Another exasperated motorist, identified only as Mrs Muchena, said the police had taken their extortionist methods to a higher level.

“There are only Chinese made tyres and extinguishers available in the country. The police should go to the border first and refuse these things entry. The government is screaming itself hoarse about looking east and then this happens. Is it a fundraising trick for some party that has gone horribly wrong?” she fumed.

‘Is it a fundraising trick for some party that has gone horribly wrong?’ Motorists complained that the police were charging every motorist who fails to produce the items as much as $20.

Transport and Communications Minister, Nicolas Goche, told a Parliamentary Committee last week the issue was for public safety. “We must not quarrel about this. Parliament should be helping us to enforce this law because it for public safety. I stand by that policy decision,” Goche said without elaborating on the standards association issue.

He was responding to a question by Glen-Norah MP Gift Dzirutwe on why the police had gone on the war path, harassing citizens over fire extinguishers and other vehicle safety accessories.

Traffic Police spokesperson Tigere Chigome could not be contacted for comment. Those interviewed said they would rather be arraigned before the courts, than endure the “court martial” currently being exercised by the policed.

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