HARARE – An unlicensed kombi driver has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for crashing into Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s motorcade.
Silent Hungwe, 30, was yesterday jailed by Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateku who also banned him for life from driving Class One vehicles.
Mateku initially sentenced Hungwe to 12 months in prison for driving a public service vehicle without a licence and another 18 months for negligent driving. In passing sentence, Mateku said cases of this nature, where people do not hesitate to get behind the steering wheel and drive public vehicles without the necessary skills, have become prevalent.
She also noted that Hungwe was driving an unroadworthy vehicle which had no fitness certificate and further failed to give the court special circumstances regarding why he drove without a licence.
“You did not observe other vehicles that had stopped to observe the motorcade but rather created your own path and caused the accident,” Mateku said before handing down the sentence.
It was the State’s case that on August 24 along Borrowdale Road at the intersection of Kingsmead, Hungwe was driving a commuter omnibus and avoided cars that had blocked the road paving way for Chiwenga’s motorcade.
The Road Traffic (Rules of the Road) (Amendment) Regulations, issued in 2002, state that when the presidential motorcade sweeps down the road, all other vehicles are forced to pull to the side of the road and stop.
The regulations state that “the driver of every vehicle on the road on which a State motorcade is travelling . . . shall halt his/her vehicle”.
The regulations are part of an armoury of draconian laws meant to uphold “the dignity” of the president and his deputies. Hungwe proceeded and hit one of the motorcade vehicles on the rear right side, causing serious damage to both vehicles.
In 2016, a truck driver Joseph Chakanetsa was sentenced to two years in jail after he intercepted former president Robert Mugabe’s motorcade as he was going to his private residence in Borrowdale.
Chakanetsa sped off after realising that he had driven into Mugabe’s motorcade but claimed in court that he was overcome with fear.