Tussle over traffic fines control

Darlington Musarurwa in Victoria Falls
\nAFRICAN Road Funds administrators are considering tapping revenues generated from traffic offences to fund road rehabilitation and maintenance.At the ongoing African Road Maintenance Funds Association (ARMFA) focal group meeting here last week, Lesotho Road Fund chief executive officer Mr Nkeleletse Makara said while collections from traffic offences were low, they were crucial in augmenting revenue streams from other sources.

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“We will rather have them (the traffic offences revenue) because they are contributing something. The difficulty of it now is that we are not able to track the process of (police) collection from the first point of contact where the offence happens,” said Mr Makara.

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“The police traffic officers are normally bribed; and if that happens, we are not able to pick it up. The little that ends up coming is a very small amount . . .

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“It is, however, a challenge to us to devise and develop data systems to make sure that we maximise on that revenue.”

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In Zimbabwe, the tussle for funds generated from traffic offences continues between the roads authority and police.

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Last year, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority suggested it was prudent for revenues generated from offending motorists to be forwarded to the Consolidated Revenue Fund – the national purse – for judicious disbursement by Government.

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But the Zimbabwe Republic Police strenuously rejected this.

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At the focal group meeting, Zinara board chair Mr Albert Mugabe said there was need to devise new methods to mobilise road funds.

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“There is need to look for more innovative ways of collecting more road funds for the benefit of Road Funds, but not necessarily making it expensive for our motorists to use,” he said

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The 34-member continental body meeting in Victoria Falls, draws road experts from across Africa.