GOVERNMENT has set new fines for various offences ranging from $500 up to $500 000. The fines have been reviewed upwards with immediate effect.
The new fines were gazetted by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and are contained in Statutory Instrument 209 of 2021. [CAP. 9:23 Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Standard Scale of Fines) Notice, 2021.
According to the schedule, for offences in level one, offenders will part with $500 while the highest amount of $500 000 is for level 14 crimes.
Level 14 offences, the highest level of offences, now attract a fine of $500 000 and include crimes such as concealing treason, deliberately transmitting HIV, robbery which is not committed in aggravating circumstances.
Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza confirmed the new fines.
“Yes, those are the new fine like level 14 which is the highest. But the rightful person to comment on this is the Chief Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi who deals with these offences every day,” she said.
Mutevedzi could not be reached immediately.
Lawyer Esau Mandipa said the new fines were justified in the light of the surge in armed robbery cases among others. He said at the same time, there was need to punish Covid-19 lockdown offenders to stop the spread of the virus.
“What this means is that both offences minor and serious in terms of the code now attract heavier penalties in forms of fines. My advice to fellow citizens is to comply with the law.
“Crimes like armed robbery lead to unnecessary loss of life and Covid-19 is causing the death of many people.
“So it is just common cause that we behave and follow the laid down rules and regulations that are aimed at protecting us,” said Mandipa. □