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Police spot fines to remain: Chinamasa

 ... Refuses to scrap police budget allocation

12/02/2017 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa
 
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FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa says police spot fines shall remain in place as long as traffic offences are being committed and refused calls to scrap budget allocations for the ZRP.

The minister dismissed claims police kept the money collected from the finds for their own operational needs instead of remitting the cash to Treasury’s consolidated revenue fund.

Legislators say the ZRP has virtually been turned into a revenue collecting arm of the State through endless roadblocks, with cash targets often given to traffic enforcement teams. 

“I think, clearly, spot fines will remain as long as we have got drivers who commit crimes when they are driving their vehicles on the road,” Chinamasa told the upper house of assembly on Thursday.

“You must expect police to mount roadblocks where they check your speed, the condition of your vehicle and speeding is a crime for which a spot fine is fixed. Any mechanical defect on your vehicle is also a crime. 

“You should not move with a car without breaks. So, if the police find that you are driving a car without breaks, they will fine you and they will collect the fine.”

Chinamasa was responding to Matebeleland South Senator, Sithembile Mlotshwa, who said police had abandoned their core business.

Mlotshwa also wanted to know why the police received budget allocations from central government when they were allowed to keep fines.

“Let the police officers go to their core business,” Mlotshwa said.

“There are so many things that are happening and the police are concentrating now. They are sharpening their appetites on collecting money more than anything else.

“I am concerned when you make Votes to that Ministry (Home Affairs), it is having a lot of money.”

But Chinamasa said his ministry was in total control of all funds collected in the form of fines by different arms of the state.

“We have intensified accountability of any funds which are retained by those authorities which collect revenue or which collect fines,” Chinamasa said.

“In the 2016 Budget, we insisted that those funds should be banked as sub accounts under the consolidated revenue fund at the central bank and that was done end of January.

“So, as we sit in Treasury, we know what amounts are in any of these accounts because they are centralised at the Central Bank. I have a right, as Treasury, to raid any of those accounts to meet any expenditure or virement to the extent possible.



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“We believe we now have complete control over these funds which are now by directive banked in the Central Bank and not in other commercial banks over which we had no knowledge of.”


 
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