Statement by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE’S RESPONSE TO HERALD ARTICLE TITLED ‘COUNCIL BLAMES POLICE FOR CONGESTION’
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Following the setting up of a Cabinet Technical Committee to decongest the City of Harare’s roads, the Zimbabwe Republic Police is jointly deploying Police and Municipal Security at 45 intersections.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has taken note of a statement attributed to City of Harare on the causes of congestion in the City.
However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police states that there are a number of factors that are contributing to the congestion currently being experienced in Harare.
These include the volume of traffic, poor road infrastructure, non-functional traffic lights, potholes that have remained for a long time without being attended to, trench repairs which are blocking some lanes, numerous vehicles broken down on the roads and in the process hinder the smooth flow of traffic.
Some lorries are openly frequenting the Central Business District in clear violation of the City By-Laws.
On the other hand, vehicle owners are also taking longer to remove broken down cars from the roads with some parked in the centre of the road.
In most cases, Police have had to move in and force the vehicle owners to remove the broken cars.
The Police believe that it is not a question of blame game, but the need to re-plan the state of the roads and general traffic management in Central Business Districts and all roads leading to major towns.
There are a lot of issues on congestion that needs to be tackled holistically by all relevant stakeholders.
Motorists are even making the decongestion efforts worse by creating third or fourth imaginary lanes while totally disregarding road rules and regulations.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has had to deploy officers on road junctions, non-functional robots in the Central Business District, to ensure law and order exists.
Above all Police has received complaints of motorists along Chiremba-Epworth Road, Seke and Dieppe Junction, Kirkman Road-Harare Drive, Mabvuku turn-off and Chikurubi-Arcturus Road, who are openly driving dangerously and even dare challenge other motorists to move out of the way yet they will be moving in the wrong lane and against the flow of traffic.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has held meetings with City of Harare officials on the traffic situation and how to work together to manage the situation.
The proliferation of undesignated pick up points in the Central Business District, operations of mushika shika vehicles and the conduct of transporters at Mbudzi Roundabout, call for enhanced greater efforts to change the attitude and mindset of Zimbabweans on the roads.
The current Cabinet efforts to integrate all stakeholders in managing the decongestion process will go a long way in dealing with the chaos currently seen in Harare during peak hours.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police will ensure that the Government’s efforts to provide safety and smooth traffic movement on the roads are implemented without fear or favour.