Police have dismissed as outright falsehoods a story in The Sunday News and The Sunday Mail yesterday suggesting they were targeting bank accounts to recover traffic fines. Speaking to The Herald yesterday, police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the police had no such plans. She said the author of the story had suggested the idea and that at no point did she mention that the police was targeting bank accounts as an option to recover traffic fines. “The story is false and I want to make it clear that as the police we do not have such plans,” she said. “He (the reporter) is the one who suggested that, to which I responded that as police we will welcome that policy if it was to be put in place,” she said.
The reporter already had his story when he interviewed me because he said the story was a follow up to (Home Affairs) Minister Ignatius Chombo’s remarks that he saw on television. “He was asking for my opinion, to which I emphatically told him that if such a proposal was to be made, it would benefit the police. “At no point did I state that police are now targeting bank accounts to retrieve fines for traffic offences. “The story is just misleading and mischievous.” The story stated that the police wanted to introduce new technology that captures biometric data of all drivers’ licence holders under an initiative that would see offending motorists’ bank accounts being garnished when they failed to pay fines
It further alleged the innovation would also detect fake drivers’ licences and was part of the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s digitalisation programme that began with launch of a website in Harare last Friday. Police currently issue tickets to traffic offenders, allowing motorists to pay fines at their nearest police stations within seven days. Police at times asked traffic offenders to pay spot fines but last year High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere said there was no legislation backing such action.