Council, Attorney-General’s office clash on by-laws

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Harare City Council has been forced to amend its traffic by-laws after the Attorney General’s Office refused to allow municipal police to use force on the said by-laws. The AG’s office also declined to extend the Central Business District into the Avenues area. Council had proposed the insertion of a clause which provides for the use of “reasonable force” in order to overcome resistance by drivers in the city. The AG’s office felt that reasonable force was subjective.

Acting chamber secretary Mr Charles Kandemiri told the city’s Environmental Management Committee that although they were not happy with the changes done by the AG’s office, council would not pursue the matter. The city feels the AG’s office had declined similar provisions it approved for Bulawayo City Council. “Council had proposed that the Central Business District definition be amended so as to extend into Charter Road and Enterprise Road,” reads the recent minutes of the Environment Management Committee.

“However, only Charter Road was inserted in the approved amendment by-laws and Enterprise Road was left out. The Attorney General’s Office justification was that Enterprise Road covers the Avenues area, which is a residential area. Council had proposed the insertion of a clause which provides for the use of reasonable force in order to overcome resistance by the drivers. However, this was left out.

“The Attorney General’s office said they cannot allow municipal police to use force in order to enforce the by-laws because reasonable force is subjective and they wanted to avoid the use of spikes.”

Council was not happy with the changes done by the AG’s office and as such, the said approved amendment by-laws had not been gazetted.

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