POLICE officers-in-charge are pocketing public funds from parking levies hence the decision by Minister of Home Affairs Davies Chama to ban the parking of vehicles at Police stations.
Mr Chama said police officers have been issuing unauthorized receipts to motorists who park their vehicles at Police stations after receiving the fess, making accountability difficult.
He said the decision to ban the parking of vehicles was due to mismanagement of parking fees which were paid by motorists in line with the Police Act of 1999.
Mr Chama said officers in charge did not even have bank accounts where the money could have been deposited for accountability since the money was supposed to be channeled to national treasury.
The minister said a lot of the money has been misappropriated by officers in charge and has directed the police command to check on officers-in-charge on how much money has been raised and abused.
Speaking when he featured on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)’s Sunday Interview programme, Mr Mwila said the police command should monitor officers-in-charge on how they use money raised from parking fees.
“What we are saying is that police command should be checking on their police officers-in-charge and see how much they are raising and how the money is being used. So, we are telling them that go in and check. They don’t have Government receipts, if they have it is not for Zambia Police, can you imagine. They don’t have bank accounts,” Mr Chama said.
He however, said it was not all the officers in charge who were abusing money collected from parking fees
Mr Chama reiterated his directive to remove private motor vehicles from the police stations and posts or risk being forfeited to the State.
He said after putting proper systems in place to ensure accountability of all revenue raised from parking fees, the ban would be lifted adding that for now motorists should find alternative parking places.
The minister said it was the responsibility of political leaders to provide leadership and ensure that there was sanity in the police service.
He said there was no justification for officers to operate in the dirty environment when they have been making money by allowing motorists to park at stations and posts.
“Do you want the police command to continue keeping the police stations dirty? Do you want us to continue keeping the vehicles which have been there for more than five years? There must be sanity, there must be order…We have to reorganise ourselves and people have to be patient,” Mr Mwila said.
He said some people have decided to park their vehicles permanently at police stations and posts for years which were contributing to the horrible appearance of police stations and posts.
Mr Chama said the law was clear and that individuals were allowed to park vehicles at police posts and stations but emphasized that all vehicles should now be removed from there to restore sanity and cleanliness.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwila has announced that Government will this year recruit 1,600 police officers who will be deployed throughout the country to help reduce manpower shortage.
He said the Government had earlier planned to recruit 500 but realised that the number would be insignificant hence the increase. He also said that 600 prison officers and 200 immigration officers will be recruited this year.
“Earlier, Government had budgeted for 500 officers but if you divide that number it means 50 recruits per province, and we realised that it won’t be enough so that is how we went back to the treasury to see if we could increase and now we will recruit 1,600 police officers, 600 prison officers and 200 immigrations officers,” said the minister.
Mr. Mwila admitted that police, prisons and Immigrations departments faced transport and other logistical problems which would be addressed through the acquiring of vehicles this year.