Zimbabwe Republic Police will from next week unveil standard roadblocks of at least four per province, as Government responds to concerns raised by tourists and motorists regarding the prevalence of police on the roads.
Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said yesterday that he had directed the Commissioner General of Police Augustine Chihuri to remove all unnecessary roadblocks to ensure hassle free travelling.
Dr Chombo, who was accompanied by his deputy Cde Obedingwa Mguni, was giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development chaired by Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF).
He said Government would soon unveil an electronic traffic management system that would integrate all transport stakeholders like the police, Vehicle Inspection Department, Zimbabwe National Roads Administration, Road Motor Transport and Central Vehicle Registry to bring to an end to traffic management challenges.
“We have told the Commissioner General of Police to reduce or remove all unnecessary roadblocks and leave the necessary ones,” said Dr Chombo.
“He is seized with the matter. When there is an incident at a certain point, you can’t say because there is too many roadblocks, I cannot mount a roadblock. You have got to. But I think you cannot mount a roadblock simply because you want to raise money. No.
“That is why we are saying ‘necessary’. We want the police to do their work, but we also want the public to have a hassle free travel. We really want to ensure that a proper balance is maintained. But this electronic initiative is panacea to all the problems we are talking about. It will address spot fines and everything literally.”
Deputy Minister Mguni weighed in:
“By next week, we would have started zoning system where roadblocks will be put according to province and a province should not have more than four roadblocks”.
He said the number of roadblocks would be raised if there were security concerns aimed at combating crimes such as robberies and human and drug trafficking.
“If it is integrated, it will show that by this time City Link (bus) should be at this point, that is why we can say we can do with four roadblocks per province so we do not have to waste time, unless there has been crime like robberies and so forth.”
Deputy Minister Mguni said roadblocks would be carried out by traffic police alone, while other officers would be deployed at highway patrols to check for speeding motorists, particularly passenger service vehicle. Cde Nduna hailed Dr Chombo for taking drastic efforts to reduce roadblocks starting next week, which he said had been a thorn in the flesh of motorists.