Tuesday, 7 November 2017

SPIKES ARE BACK IN HARARE

The Harare City Council and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) enforcement team tasked to restore order in the city centre has begun using metal spikes again, the Daily News can reveal.

The team, which is not only targeting vendors but pirate taxis (mushika shika) and kombis, has been using the controversial metal spikes in defiance of President Robert Mugabe who condemned the dangerous practice saying it’s illegal.

This journalist observed that ZRP do not handle the illegal objects but instead, municipal officers are the ones actually in charge of the metal spikes.

The enforcement team indiscriminately throws them at fleeing kombis and mushika shikas, oblivious of the dangers they pose to passengers and pedestrians.

According to Section 38 Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter IV throwing spikes in front of moving vehicles is a criminal offence.

“Any person who — (a) throws or propels or prepares to throw or propel any missile, article or thing at any person, motor vehicle, boat, aircraft or building with the intention or realising that there is a real risk or possibility of causing damage or injury; or (b) without lawful excuse, the proof whereof lies on him or her, overturns or attempts to overturn a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft . . . shall be guilty of obstructing or endangering the free movement of persons or traffic and liable to a fine not exceeding level twelve or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both,” the Act reads.

However, despite the Daily News witnessing the use of spikes, council spokesperson Michael Chideme said the city had stopped. “We are not using spikes anymore, but it is important to note that they have not been outlawed,” he said.

Deputy Home Affairs minister Obedingwa Mguni told the Senate in July that police will soon be using spikes in a far advanced way. Mguni said he wanted to copy the South African style of using spikes.

“There is an electronic system that we will introduce when we are integrated which detects a vehicle that may not have paid its licence.

“Then those who are about 400 metres will be telephoned to inform them about this vehicle.
“That is when the driver will see a spike on the ground when he is approaching,” Mguni said.
“The dispute that I have come across in Zimbabwe most of the times is that — I am not sure whether the taxi driver refuses to stop and then police run to throw the spike.

“If it is like that, we issued a statement that it is illegal to throw a spike on a moving vehicle. We said this constitutes three years’ imprisonment for a police officer.” daily news

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