Government has launched a campaign meant to compel motorists to pay fines as opposed to bribing traffic law enforcement officers when found guilty of road traffic offences.
The campaign is dubbed ‘No bribes but Fines Campaign’.
Acting Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Ambrose Lufuma, has since sounded a warning against officers that will be found entertaining bribes. Mr. Lufuma said police officers will be punished if they are caught soliciting bribes from erring motorists.
He said motorists, who will be caught bribing police officers, will equally be brought to book. Mr Lufuma has since directed the Zambia Police and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to ensure that motorists adhere to the traffic regulations.
The minister further directed that the traffic officers should deal with erring motorists in the open for the sake of transparency.
“To enhance transparency among traffic officers, I am again directing the Zambia Police Service to ensure that all traffic officers deal with erring motorists in the open. I further direct the Zambia Police Service to ensure that traffic offences and the corresponding fines are displayed at strategic conspicuous points at police stations and traffic checkpoints,” Mr Lufuma said.
He also directed the Zambia Police Service to work together with Smart Zambia Institute and other stakeholders in coming up with digital platforms to help erring motorists to pay fines.
He observed that paying a traffic fine may be inconveniencing to the motorists in the absence of digital platforms.
“This also contributes to the problem of corruption as some motorists would prefer paying a bribe to avoid the hustle of going to the bank to pay for the fine,” Mr Lufuma said.
Speaking at the same event, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director General, Gilbert Phiri, said road users have lost their lives on many occasions because of the corruption of traffic police officers.
Mr Phiri also charged that it is unacceptable for a public officer to collect bribes from members of the public.
The ACC Director General said there is need for wide publicity on the provisions of the Police Service Charter.
“There is also need for information dissemination on the procedures involved in obtaining various services and settling fines charged on offences. Members of the public need to know their responsibilities and obligations as far as maintaining law and order are concerned,” he said.
And Inspector General of Police, Lemmy Kajoba, said in a speech read on his behalf by Lusaka Province Police Commissioner Creto Kaanza, that service is committed to ensuring that officers exhibit high moral standards.
Mr Kajoba said the Zambia Police Service has therefore distanced itself from officers who have been receiving bribes as that is not what the service stands for.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president, Maurice Nyambe, commended ACC for coming up with such a campaign.