Congestion on Lusaka Roads
Congestion on Lusaka Roads

Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani has that Home Affairs Minister Davis Mwila did not ban roadblocks in the country but had directed that they should be reduced because it was would be risky to completely disband police check point.

Responding to perception that road blocks on Lusaka roads have increased, Ms Libongani said the police had reduced roadblocks across the country in conformity with the directive from Mr Mwila.

“We have reduced the mounting of roadblocks across the country in conformity with the directive from the Minister. It is not true that the Minister had banned the mounting of roadblocks but had directed that they should be reduced,” Ms Libongani said.

The Daily Nation reported that Police in Lusaka have defied the directive by Home Affairs Minister Davis Mwila to stop mounting road indiscriminate blocks, causing anger among motorists.

Instead Lusaka Traffic Police have intensified their roadblocks and speed control checks, mounting these in major road arteries joining Cairo Road in Lusaka and on the Great East Road.

The roadblocks are mounted at peak traffic hours causing congestion, especially along the Great East Road where a speed check and almost permanent road block has been established near the Mulungushi Conference Centre where motorists are made pay or receive charge sheets, but often times motorists prefer the “easy” way out and pay to avoid inconvenience

Last Saturday and Sunday police officers on motor cycles assisted by patrol officers mounted moving road blocks in the heart of the city checking for fitness licenses and road taxes and in the process causing major traffic jams.

The main targets of the roadblocks in many cases are minibus drivers who were made to hand over keys and driving licenses until they made “peace”, many times in full view of passengers in the buses.

Lusaka motorists were however yesterday incensed that while Police were manning an impromptu roadblock on Kalambo road near the Zambia Revenue Authority; traffic had come to a standstill on adjacent Lumumba Road following an accident in which a truck carrying crates of beer spilled part of the road leading to a stampede of looting.

In the absence of traffic officer who were mounting a roadblock motorists were forced to control and marshal into single lanes.

Early this year Mr Mwila directed the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and Police to stop mounting what he termed unnecessary roadblocks because they were nothing but an inconvenience to motorists and a source of corruption.

The motorists have now appealed to Mr Mwila to consider taking action against police officers who were mounting roadblocks and harassing motorists apart from demanding bribes.

They have also called on the Anti-Corruption Commission to undertake surprise checks at roadblocks to stop open corruption.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I dont know the kind of country we want to have. Road blocks are very important especially in a country where the police do not have advanced technology to fight crime. They have no CCTV or number plate recognition computer vehicles, or even normal patrol vehicles. So how will they stop drink driving for example, how will they look for stolen cars? What about reckless driving? What about illegal drivers? uninsured vehicles? The list is endless, and only road blocks can help the police do that.

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    • @ Euro: Roadblocks in Zambia only benefit the Police and are used as an additional source of Income for themselves. What crimes have they stopped. moreover our police are so compromised and corrupt. Please as a country we can do better than using Roadblocks as an excuse.

      Let them be Banned completely as they add no value. Instead we can have Motorway patrols for reckless drivers / offenders. Let this be an opportunity to introduce speed cameras and have an integrated system with vehicle registration that if you have fines, you can’t renew your vehicle / no insurance as well. If caught, pay heavy penalties.

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    • A police man should not be handling money under any circumstances…let fines/payments be handled by relevant traffic authorities or the city council.

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    • My dear it is the devil at work the opposition in the country want the country to be ungovernable they want the PF to fail. Cant image the chaos that can be created if road blocks were to be banned!!!!!!!

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    • Are they doing it to keep things in check, or to make money out of us??? You are obviously a pedestrian who doesn’t know how we, the motorists, are being harassed by these so-called police officers. THEY ARE ROBBERS IN UNIFORM!

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  2. Surely when is Zambia going to modernise? How do other countries operate without roadblocks; these merely encourage corruption; simply modernise and computerize the traffic database…you will not only reduce corruption you will increase revenue as well via speed cameras, speedy automated payments etc
    So long as we have useless entities like Stella who are happy to seat in their offices doing nothing we will remain 50 years behind the rest of the world…simply ask for assistance from your so called co-orporating partners for assistance (and that doesn’t mean China or ZTE).

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  3. The problem with our police service is that it is still modeled on colonial structures and laws. Coupled with this the calibre of our police officers is too low because the recruitment process is riddled with politics, nepotism and corruption other than merit. The world over the majority of police officers do their work on foot reserving patrol vehicles for rapid response to emergencies. In Zambia patrol vehicles run shopping and leisure errands for the police. That’s why police vehicles never last. Those who were old enough remember the traffic boss called Mwale who drove the navy blue Belmont car. He was so smart and he kept this vehicle just as smart for many years. Since his retirement I have never seen a smart police man like him not even Libongani. This is a police disservice. We…

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  4. We need an IG with innovative ideas even if it means recalling distinguished retired officers to instill order and discipline in the police service.

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  5. Zambia Police are just too corrupt and useless. I can tell you some corruption incidents that have affected me and because I refuse to be corrupt myself, the corrupt offices want to arrest me for nothing! It seems that if you are a policeman you can do anything because they know nobody wants to spend time in those disease riddled cells. So people are afraid to chellenge them even when they are wrong. So you must just pay to make peace. Zambia Corruption Force.

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  6. How on earth do you allow walking roadblocks? Stella were on earth have you see your fellow PIGS allow such? Are you telling the nations what is obtaining is fine with you? What a PIG. (Police Inspector General).

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  7. Actually this woman ought to have been fired along time ago. But tribal balancing and fear of losing small gains made in western province by ECL has saved Libongani. It is a shame indeed to allow such unprecedented roadblocks.

    I live in Ndola. Last week I went to Chillilabombwe. Would you believe that there were 11 police road blocks in between Ndola and Chililabombwe. Traffic jam caused between Kitwe and Chingola was unbelievable. Surely if this is not mutiny by police led by Libongani profit from corruption, what would you call it?

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