The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has filed an appeal against a High Court judgment empowering Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers to use spikes when dealing with errant private and public motor vehicles.
This comes after High Court judge, Justice Owen Tagu dismissed an application by PAZ, together with private taxi “Mushikashika” driver Bernard Murizani seeking a ban on the use of spikes and tear gas by the police.
Justice Tagu dismissed the application saying that banning the use of spikes by traffic police to stop vehicles refusing to obey orders to stop would be as good as legalising crime and disempowering police from maintaining law and order.
In its appeal against the ruling, PAZ complained that Tagu sanctioned unconstitutional conduct. The application reads in part:
The High Court erred and misdirected itself in making a finding that the use of spikes, smashing of windscreens and throwing of teargas in public transport by the ZRP officers leading to damage to property, bodily injuries and loss of lives of passengers and other members of the public does not amount to a violation of the rights to life and to personal security as ingrained on section 48 and 52 respectively of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act, 2013.
The High Court further erred and misdirected itself in finding that illegal conduct of illegal transport operators, colloquially known as mushikashika justifies or necessitates the use of excessive use of force outside the parameters stipulated under section 42 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The appeal is yet to be heard.