The Zambia Police Service has advised Members of the Public to verify with authorities on the legality of checkpoints and roadblocks before effecting citizen arrests on Police officers suspected to have mounted an illegal checkpoint as directed by Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo yesterday.
At a media briefing, Mr. Lusambo told Lusaka residents to effect Citizen arrest on Police Officers who mount illegal roadblocks saying Lusaka only has three Check Points, one along Mumbwa road, one along the Kafue road in Chilanga and one along the Great East road after the Airport roundabout.
He said the unnecessary road blocks in the Province were contributing to congestion on the roads.
Here is a full statement by the Police
LUSAKA, 07 TH OCTOBER, 2018 – The Zambia Police wishes to state that in the recent past, a Ministerial Statement was presented in Parliament by the Minister of Home Affairs, in which he announced the reduction of roadblocks countrywide.
We also wish to clarify that the roadblocks that were referred to in the Ministerial Statement were Permanent Security road blocks and these are roadblocks which operate on a 24 00 hours basis mainly for security reasons such as search for wanted and trafficked persons, stolen property and address many other security concerns.
Other than these permanent roadblocks there are also snap check points which are random in nature and are mounted by traffic officers at different points in enforcing the Road Traffic Act hence ensuring that there is sanity on the roads.
The snap checks are usually mounted between 09 00 hours and 16 00 hours. Before 09 00 hours and after 17 00 hours, traffic officers are usually involved in traffic management.
The permanent roadblocks were indeed reduced on the basis that they were counterproductive and were an inconvenience to the travelling public.
However, on snap checks which are random checkpoints, a directive was given by the Minister of Home Affairs that they should be well coordinated by Police Commissioners of Provinces to avoid being an inconvenience to the travelling public.
Section 21 of the Zambia Police Act gives mandate to the Zambia Police to regulate and control traffic as well as keep and maintain order on public roads.
We therefore wish to advise members of the public to understand the distinction between Permanent Security Roadblocks and Snap Traffic checks and should always verify with authorities on the legality of checkpoints and roadblocks before effecting citizens arrests on officers suspected to have mounted an illegal checkpoint.
ESTHER MWAATA KATONGO
ZAMBIA POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER