Traffic officers who arrested #Tajamuka/Sesijikile leader Promise Mkwananzi after he allegedly refused to give them his driver’s licence were yesterday left with egg on their faces after the State conceded it had erred in charging the activist.
Source: Tajamuka leader outsmarts traffic cops in court – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 5, 2016
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Mkwananzi’s lawyer, Marufu Mandevere, challenged the activist’s placement on remand, arguing all the charges against his client were not in existence at law.
Mkwananzi was being charged with holding his cellphone while driving a motor vehicle in a public road and failure to comply with instructions given by police officers, that is, refusing to give them his driver’s licence, but the State dropped the charges before plea.
Mandevere told the court that a section of the Statutory Instrument required drivers to produce licences within seven days at any police station around the country, but Mkwananzi’s licence was demanded on the same day despite the grace period.
However, the State submitted it was wrong for police officers to seize citizens’ drivers’ licences, but could be allowed to verify the licence’s genuineness without having to hold it.
Prosecutor Devon Nyagano told the court that the police erred in citing section 72 of the Statutory Instrument and wanted the court to change it to section 74 which required Mkwananzi to produce his driver’s licence to police.
Magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta remanded the matter to October 7 for determination.
According to the State, on September 20 this year at around 9am Mkwananzi was driving along Samora Machel Avenue, when one of the police officers allegedly noticed him holding a cellphone in his left hand seeming to be reading messages or scrolling while driving. It is alleged he was stopped by Sergeant Masare and asked for his driver’s licence, but Mkwananzi refused and tried to drive away, leading to his arrest.