THE Government has said it is illegal for traffic police officers to confiscate keys and drive vehicles that they would have impounded at roadblocks.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Cde Obedingwa Mguni told MPs on Wednesday that although the police can impound vehicles with defects, it was illegal for them to drive the cars.
“But if the car has to be detained in a safe place like a police station, it has to be driven by the owner to the police station, park it and be satisfied that it’s safe. That is according to government policy,” said Cde Mguni. He was responding to MDC-T Chikanga- Dangamvura legislator Ms Joyce Makonya who had asked the legality of police conduct in impounding vehicles.
Ms Makonya expressed concern that officers often take away car keys and drive impounded cars to police stations without producing their driver’s licences.
“Deputy Minister, is it Government policy that when I get to a roadblock with a faulty car, I am directed to go to the nearest police station, the arresting police officer drives my car and refuses to show me his licence considering the fact that he is not covered by my insurance. Is it Government policy that a police officer drives my car because my car has a problem or there is a problem on me?” asked Ms Makonya.
Cde Mguni said: “The police have the right to detain a vehicle for not more than 24 hours if the vehicle is found to be faulty. If there is a fine that the driver has to pay and it is less than $20 then the driver can pay a spot fine.”