The Government has promulgated a standard scale of fines set in US dollars but payable in local currency at the prevailing interbank exchange rate.
The new fines were gazetted yesterday by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi in Statutory Instrument 14A of 2023 as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Standard Scale of Fines) Notice, 2023.
SI 14A repeals the scale of fines published in Statutory Instrument 209 of 2021.
“The fines in the schedule are expressed in United States dollars but payable in the equivalent Zimbabwean dollars at the prevailing interbank rate,” the notice.
For crimes classified under Level 1, the fine will be US$5, Level 2 US$15, Level 3 US$30, Level 4 US$100, Level 5, US$ 200, Level 6 US$300, Level 7 US$400, Level 8 US$500, Level 9 US$600, Level 10 US$700, Level 11 US$1 000, Level 12 US$ 2 000, Level 13 US$ 3 000 and Level 14 US$5 000.
The fines at each level are the maximum, since courts have the option, depending on circumstances, to levy a lower fine, but cannot levy a higher penalty.
Offences in Level 1, are those that offenders usually pay an admission of guilt fine while those in Level 14 are for more serious offences such as concealing treason or robbery not committed in aggravating circumstances.
Meanwhile, the local currency Zimdollar has been losing its purchasing power at an alarming rate.
Of late, the local currency have been trading weakly against major convertible currencies amid calls to dump it.
Renowned world economist Steve Hanke is on record calling on Harare to fully dollarise.