Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
TRAFFIC cops on duty have a right to hold and check driver’s licences but do not have the right to withhold them, a senior officer has said.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said police have the right to verify authenticity of a licence.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to correct the misconception by certain mischievous and errant drivers who refuse to give their licences for inspection by police officers on duty on the guise that police spokesperson said you should not hold or touch my licence, that is not correct,” she said.
She said anyone who fails to give police their particulars on request would be violating the law.
“If you refuse to give the police your particulars upon request you are contravening Section 72 (1) (3) of the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13:11, failure to comply with police instruction and shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
“The correct position is that police officers have no right to withhold licences from drivers.”
In January, police said it was illegal for police officers to confiscate driver’s licences from motorists and those whose documents were seized must report to their nearest police station.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said this following complaints by motorists who lost their driver’s licence after they were confiscated by police at roadblocks.
It was reported that police officers manning roadblocks usually asked for driver’s licences before inspecting the vehicle.
On discovering an offence, the police would not release the licence until payment of a spot fine by the motorist.