Bar Association warns that Transport Ministry proposals could be illegal

4
Bar Association warns that Transport Ministry proposals could be illegal
Bar Association warns that Transport Ministry proposals could be illegal

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Mozambican Bar Association (OAM) has warned that some of the measures proposed by the Transport Ministry to reduce the number of traffic accidents on the country’s roads are illegal.

The Ministry had called for the immediate imprisonment of motorists involved in serious accidents. But the OAM’s Human Rights Commission, in a Wednesday press release, pointed out that this is simply not envisaged under the Mozambican Highway Code, which has the force of law.

Accidents, even if they are fatal, do not lead to the immediate detention of the motorist, or a seizure of the vehicle’s documents.

It was true that serious violations of the Highway Code can lead to the offender being banned from driving, and article 153 of the Code imposes a prison term of between one and three years on any motorist who causes the death of anybody else through such abuses as drunk driving, excessive speed, or irregular overtaking.

But this imprisonment is not immediate and must be ordered by a court. What the Ministry seemed to propose, the OAM warned, “is liable to violate the fundamental rights and guarantees of citizens”.

A mere ministerial statement could not alter anything in the Highway Code or any other legislation. Throwing a motorist in jail without any sentence from a court, the OAM pointed out, would also violate the principle of the presumption of innocence.

Anyone who did order the immediate preventive detention of a motorist who had allegedly caused an accident would be guilty of the crime of illegal imprisonment, the OAM added.

In their attempts to prevent road accidents, the authorities “must scrupulously respect the principles of legality and the rule of law, as envisaged under the Mozambican Constitution”, said the OAM’s statement.

Facebook Post click here

For More News And Analysis About Mozambique Follow Africa-Press

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here