A 28-year-old Gwanda-based police officer, who drove a motor vehicle without a licence, was ordered to pay a fine of $300 or spend 60 days in prison.
Memory Machaka pleaded guilty when she appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe on Saturday facing a charge of driving without a licence..
Nazombe also sentenced Machaka a 30-day jai term, but wholly suspended it for three years on condition that she does not commit a similar offence within this period.
Prosecutor Admire Zvongouya told the court that on January 1 this year at around 4:40pm, Machaka drove a Fiat Punto along Sudan Street fully aware that she had no valid driver’s licence. It was only discovered that Machaka was not a holder of a valid licence after her vehicle was hit from behind by another car on the highway. Traffic police, who attended the scene asked Machaka to produce her driver’s licence and she failed.
The police fined Machaka $20 for driving without due care and attention.
In mitigation, Machaka wept and on being asked by the magistrate why she was crying, she responded that she was afraid of the consequences of her illegal actions.
“Your worship, I am sorry for committing this offence. I was rushing my sibling who was not feeling well to the hospital,” Machaka said.
Nazombe told Machaka that the temptation of driving was very high because the vehicle she was driving was hers and had it not been for the accident, she would not have been caught and would probably have continued driving without a valid licence.
“You should have avoided driving without a licence because it is dangerous not only to you, but also to other road users,” she said.
“So you were not supposed to be on the road driving. What makes your offence serious is that you are a police officer and you know the law because you enforce it. Therefore, you should be the one arresting culprits not the other way round,” she added.