HOME Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu has challenged traffic police officers to reflect on how many lives could have been saved if they stopped accepting bribes from motorists with vehicle defects.
Mr Mwiimbu has also directed the officers around the country to deal with traffic offences in the open and not in the confines of bribery.
In a speech read on his behalf by Defence Minister Ambrose Lufuma during the launch of the the ‘No bribes, but fines campaign’ in Lusaka,Mr Mwiimbu said many lives have been lost due to bribes being accepted on the roads.
“We have lost lives which could have been preserved had it not been for that erring motorist who offered a bribe to an officer to be allowed to proceed even when their motor vehicle was not roadworthy. we have lost lives which we could have been preserved had it not been for that traffic officer who received a bribe to overlook a traffic breach. in addition to this, we have lost property and government revenue at the detriment of economic development,” he said.
He said corruption among motorists and traffic officers is not a mere perception ,but it is empirically proven.
“The findings of the 2019 Zambia Bribe Payers Index which show that the police (traffic section) are still ranked among the top with higher likelihood of taking bribes at 40.7 percent,” he said.
Mr Mwiimbu said the campaign marked the beginning of an era where corruption shall no longer be condoned by police traffic officers and road users alike.
“As such i must commend the zambia police, the ACC and all the stakeholders who have contributed to making this anti-corruption intervention possible. it is long overdue. the new dawn government is resolved to ridding this country of corruption in all its forms, and regardless of who is responsible for it,” he said.
He further warned motorists that such behavour shall no longer be condoned and then directed the Zambia Police Service to closely work with the Road Traffic Safety Agency and other stakeholders to ensure motorists strictly comply.
And the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has also since called on Zambians to say no to being bribed, but that they should instead pay the prescribed fine for the traffic violation offence.
ACC Director General Gilbert Phiri said ACC recognizes and appreciates the will to enhance transparency and uphold the rule of law amongst all road users.
“From today, Zambians must refuse to pay any bribes. It is as simple as this.Report anyone who solicits a bribe to the Anti-Corruption Commission and we shall take action.
Almost every non-roadworthy vehicle is on the road because of corruption. Unlicensed drivers are driving on our roads because of corruption.
We have uninsured vehicles on our roads because of corruption. Corruption has contributed to the carnage on our roads leading, in most instances, to needless loss of lives as a direct consequence of corruption,” he said