By OLIVER SAMBOKO
TRAFFIC police officers in Lusaka and Ndola have defied directives by the command to stop mounting illegal roadblocks which are contributing to congestion.
Recently, Zambia Police Road Traffic Division officer in charge, Superintendent Yoram Phiri, said snap checks were not supposed to last more than an hour.
Mr Phiri warned that snap checks would be stopped if officers continued mounting roadblocks beyond stipulated period, as they were leading to corruption among some traffic officers.
A check by the Daily Nation, however found traffic officers had mounted roadblocks at different points on the same stretch, less than 500 meters apart and were found on the spots several hours later.
At Kabwe roundabout, near ZRA Headquarters, traffic officers usually hide behind a tree and stop motorists over trumped up faults in order to extort money from them.
At Lusaka city Fire station, a permanent roadblock had been created to trap motorists from whom corrupt officers were extorting money.
“The roadblocks are mounted at peak traffic hours causing congestion and sometimes you are stopped when pass at a time the robot is orange, especially along major roads where almost permanent secret road blocks have been mounted,” a motorist complained.
In Ndola, traffic officers mount a roadblock near Chifubu at Fiesta from about 09:00 hours and could go on until 12:00 hours.
Motorists, including mini bus drivers, most of the time made to pay bribes to avoid been booked.
Some traffic offers had been abusing snap check points which were supposed to be random in nature.
According to the Road Traffic Act snap checks were supposed to be conducted before 09:00 hours and after 17:00 hours, to enhance traffic management during peak hours.
Section 21 of the Zambia Police Act also mandate to the Zambia Police to regulate and control traffic as well as keep and maintain order on public roads.
This is not the first time attempts are been made to stop corrupt activities among traffic officers, In 2015, then Home Affairs Minister Davis Mwila banned unauthorized roadblocks in the country.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO