Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has saluted the stance by some conscious citizens who have shown the desire to resist and shun corruption and praised the government for heeding the calls to reconsider the increase of spot fines.
TIZ was among the top organizations and analysts who had roundly condemned through the media, the traffic fines increase proposed in the 2016 National Budget as illegal.
Among the other experts who had condemned the move was University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku who argued that no legislative steps had been taken to make the fines effective by January 1st, 2016 as was the case by some police officers who had begun fining motorists from that date.
Subsequent to the action by police officers to demand the fines, violent clashes erupted in Chitungwiza among the law enforcement agents and commuter omnibus crews over $100 operating licence fees.
“While the government is eager to raise revenue, it has for long paid a blind eye to the fact that there is massive corruption in the country.”
“It is good to note that government is trying to increase revenue. However, by the same measure or more, they must focus on plugging the leakages. While increasing fines may hypothetically increase the revenue, it might not translate into increased revenue as it will more likely induce evasion in the context of the dire state of the economy,” TIZ said in a statement.
It said that the increase in the fines would provide an incentive to rent-seek on the part of the police officers because the cost of the penalty would be high on the individuals who would in turn fall vulnerable to the law enforcers.
“The other risk is that such a move would generate non-compliance across the entire compliance chain or requirement. If one defaults on a vehicle fitness certificate for example, that person is highly likely to default on acquiring a radio licence as the high cost of penalty generates complacency.”
“Ideally compliance measures are meant to discourage offenders. Thus there is need to balance the penalties levied and the need for one to comply. Government must not confuse the desire to raise revenue and the enforcement of law.”
TIZ said the two goals should be pursued separately