Monday, June 17, 2024

Cops Chew With Bosses; Roadblocks Can’t Stop!

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When the New Dawn Administration just formed government, Home Affairs & Internal Security Minister Hon. Jack Mwimbu issued a decree outlawing any unnecessary checkpoints or roadblocks by the traffic police save for the permanent ones along the highway for security reasons. Of course, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and applauded the minister for finally unyoking the albatross around their necks that had been causing a lot of angst.

Roadblocks are nothing but a nuisance! Apart from causing unnecessary traffic jams on our already choked roads, they are fertile breeding grounds for corruption…….conduits for corruption! Must we honestly accept corruption as part of our livelihood?

Anyway, this directive was only observed for a while as the cops studied the situation. Would they be bursted while engaging in such illegalities? Would any of them be arraigned for corruption? As soon as the dust settled down, the police came back full throttle and devised other strategies of extracting bribes from motorists.

While the police in the Copperbelt have resorted to cruising around towns harassing motorists as they attempt to pounce on any suspected defective vehicles, their counterparts in Lusaka simply hibernate at the traffic lights to waylay would be offenders, and sometimes trap them at roundabouts.

Why do the traffic police continue to defy a government directive? Or is it a clear case of insubordination?

We’ve an answer……the traffic police simply share or chew the spoils if you like with their superiors, hence the flourishing of such activities! Reliable sources inform us the guys actually have what they call ‘ichilimba’ – a saving scheme whereby they’ve set aside specific days to collect money for themselves and their superiors including those in the highest echelons of the command.

While their counterparts in regular duties have to suffer through mundane meals of katapa and bitter impwa much of the time, it’s always T/bone for them. Money isn’t a problem for them. They are able to send their kids to private schools and boast of admirable fleets of cars and mansions everywhere! It is such inequality in police camps that start tempting some cops assigned to regular duties to start sharing their uniforms and ammunition with bandits so that they can make extra income at the end of the day.

If the New Dawn Administration is serious about nipping corruption in the bud, this is where they are expected to prove their mettle.
We are challenging the new Inspector General of Police and indeed the Anti Corruption Commission to consider taking keen interest in this matter. We can’t have a situation whereby institutionalized corruption should become the norm with men and women in uniform as the key players.

Prince Bill M. Kaping’a
Political/Social Analyst

8 COMMENTS

  1. This idea of ridiculing the police all the time is not good. It is pf and upnd who brought the idea of making campaign promises regarding how they will deal with the police. These promises have made policing in this country difficult. The public and the state have a very negative view of police work. You just have to look at how past IG was treated. My view is let’s deal with the root cause of corruption in zp than blaming them. Social media crufies without due deligence.

  2. It’s impossible to get rid of ingrained habits. Corruption has continued in all government institutions and departments including the police. It’s has only changed the modus operandi. One is used to have cash everyday and expect them to accept a change that will take away this?

    • #Kachepa. We are our own worst enemies…. imagine if all motorists on one route refused to pay a bribe… would the police contain a hundred vehicles at one point? But we are always in hurry so we pay so that we can continue with our journey.

  3. With the atm-cops at almost every busy corner of the city, Lusaka feels more and more like a war zone.

    Invite all those foreigners and say you are changing the economy. But for us motorists who make a living on the roads, there is no change under this new dawn. Just talk

    If only we were foreigners…

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