Motorists gang up against abusive police
ZIMBABWEAN motorists have started mobilising funds to launch a class action against the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other State bodies they accuse of violating their constitutional rights.
Lawyers and motorists this week launched the Road Users Association (RUA), an organisation that seeks to give relief to all road users in Zimbabwe who are being abused by the police.
“It is RUA’s belief that the police are acting unconstitutionally and illegally in their harassment of motorists, their imposition of unreasonable fines, their misinterpretation of the laws, and their use of ‘legislation’ that has not been promulgated. Furthermore, the number of roadblocks, sometimes within sight of one another, is excessive and unreasonable,” the association said in a statement.
“RUA considers that the actions of the ZRP are harming the economy, undermining public respect for the police, infringing the public’s constitutional rights, discouraging tourism, and placing undue hardships on motorists. Instead of the ‘spot checks’ achieving a ‘reduction in road carnage’, their stated objective, ZRP is often compromising road safety.”
To achieve its objectives, the association has started mobilising funds for use to institute legal proceedings against the police and other bodies that violate the constitutional rights of road users as well as to conduct programmes that seek to positively influence what RUA says is “unreasonable behaviour” of the ZRP officers manning the numerous check-points throughout the country.
A Bulawayo law firm, Webb, Low and Barry, is administering the fund.
There is generally a hostile relationship between motorists and the police, with the latter being accused of literally extorting money from road users.
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