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Traffic police come up with ‘Plan B’

Traffic police

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
SOME bus drivers at City Market and Kulima Tower bus stations have complained that some police traffic officers are now following them and impounding stationary buses inside the bus stations following the ban on some roadblocks.
But police public relations officer Esther Katongo said there is nothing wrong with traffic officers operating in bus stations and conducting road blocks in townships.
The drivers, who sought anonymity, said in an interview that they intend to officially complain to Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo over alleged harassment by traffic police officers.
“These officers have now resorted to harassing us and threatening to impound our vehicles which are parked in the stations, even when a vehicle is parked permanently,” they claimed.
The drivers, however, said the police have the right to arrest or impound culprits’ vehicles but the manner in which they are being harassed is questionable.
“We are also encountering roadblocks in townships such as Kabwata, Lusaka West and Matero, among others, by two or three traffic officers,” they complained.
But Ms Katongo said there is nothing wrong with traffic police officers operating in bus stations and conducting road blocks in townships.
She said police must have a presence anywhere to ensure law and order.
“What is important is that traffic officers are in areas where vehicles are found or passing,” she said.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo recently told Parliament in a ministerial statement that some police checkpoints were counter-productive and were not justifiable as they delay traffic.
Mr Kampyongo said Government has received complaints from members of the public regarding the high number of security and traffic checks they had been subjected to by the security wings.
“To that end, the Zambia Police has reduced on the number of permanent security and traffic checkpoints throughout the country to no more than 36 strategic points,” Mr Kampyongo said.

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