Police plans to clamp parked unbranded vehicles transporting essential service personnel in town have been condemned by doctors and journalists, who feel this will interfere with their activities.
A doctor who spoke to the Chronicle on Sunday said medical practitioners sometimes use personal cars to respond to emergency calls at work and some police roadblocks inconvenience them. Said the doctor:
This is an emergency situation. We are on call 24/7. On Saturday I was prohibited from proceeding past a roadblock at Sauerstown in Bulawayo because I was using my personal car to respond to an emergency call at work, although I had my pass showing that I’m an essential service provider. This is very inconvenient and unnecessary.
Journalists have alleged that police have oftentimes denied them permission to go past roadblocks, despite producing Press cards. An affected journalist had this to say:
They said we should be using a branded company car. Due to the nature of our work, media houses have many unbranded vehicles which are used to gather news when one has to be inconspicuous.
Besides, most freelance journalists used personal vehicles in their line of work. At some roadblocks, police officers say the only recognised media house is ZBC and they refuse to let others through.