TENDAI BHEBHE IN BULAWAYO
Police have warned officers against dabbling in corrupt activities including taking bribes from motorists saying the move was the key driver of road traffic accidents as unroadworthy vehicles were allowed on the roads.
The warning from a senior police officer comes amid reports of severe corruption mainly on Zimbabwe’s highways where the police have been bribed to allow faulty vehicles and reckless drivers passage on roadblocks.
Assistant commissioner Levi Sibanda said those found wanting will face the full wrath of the law.
The senior cop was speaking at the World Day or Road Traffic Victims commemorations held in Bulawayo this week.
“When we introspect we look at the statistics where our citizens lost their lives through accidents. It is indeed disturbing,” he said.
“I am encouraging the enforcement agencies not to accept bribes from motorists. And also to encourage our transporters not to bribe or not be part and parcel of this very bad and unnecessary arrangement within our society. We expect your fleets to be road worthy. You must not buy your presence on our roads through bribes,” he added.
Twenty-three people were arrested in July this year within a period of four hours for bribery at a roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo highway.
This year alone, official data obtained from the government shows that more than 1 500 people lost their lives through road accidents between January and September while 7 851 were injured countrywide.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Felix Mhona, called for cooperation to deal with scourge.
“We therefore call for partnerships and collaborations with religious communities, organised labour, business, government institutions and civil society to mitigate the occurrences and ugly impacts of his scourge,” Mhona said.
He added: “The carnage on our roads must stop. We can’t go on pretending day by day that someone, someday will come and make a change. Road safety is our absolute responsibility. Surely, it can only be through us that we put an end to this.
“This is a war we can win as roughly 94% of road traffic accidents are directly attributed to human error. A change of human behaviour could therefore easily result in a lowering of the worrisome statistic. All of us want to end this carnage. All of us must end this carnage. It is now or never.”