RTSA, traffic police accused of abetting crime

LUSAKA motorists have accused the Road Transport and Road Safety Agency (RTSA) and Zambia Police traffic officers of selectively applying the law to punish taxi and mini bus drivers while allowing other offenders get away with serious crimes.

They said the officers were inefficient, reactive and unfair in the manner road traffic laws were being enforced.

The motorists have complained about the deliberate wrong parking by truckers offloading and loading timber on Lumumba Road at Buseko market which has become a safety issue for road users.

A motorist Mr Kangwa Bwalya accused the police and RTSA of inertia in dealing with road traffic offenders such as those parking along busy roads to load and offload.

“How can traffic police officers controlling traffic in the morning at both the Salima  and Sheki Sheki  road junctions on the Lumumba road not see the anarchy caused by truckers who park on the road to load and offload timber? RTSA officers are also seen in their saloon cars passing through the scene where truckers break the traffic law with impunity without doing anything about it,” he said.

He said the truckers could not cause accidents as well as causing congestion which was affecting the smooth flow of traffic at peak hours.

Mr Bwalya charged that RTSA and the police were failing to charge truckers but were quick to punish taxi and mini bus drivers and other motorists.

“How can the traffic law enforåcement officers allow truckers to take over one lane, thereby causing congestion and traffic jams on the road during peak hours?’’ Mr Bwalya asked

And another affected pedestrian Shadrack Phiri has urged traffic police to keep the truckers and traders out of the pedestrian pathway to prevent road accidents involving pedestrians.

“Our lives are in danger as we have to walk into the busy main road when we reach this part of the road where they are off-loading. The police must stop this confusion even if politics are involved,”  he said.

Meanwhile, the RTSA has accused the Lusaka City Council of being responsible for the illegal trading on the roads but promised to carry out what he had called a ‘‘test assessment’’.

And Police spokesperson Charity Munganga promised the road users that the matter would be resolved immediately and that police officers operating at the Salima and Sheki Sheki road junctions on Lumumba Road would be dealt with administratively for neglecting their jobs.

Lusaka City Council public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda said the Buseko market master Richard Kapulu would address the situation together with his Market Advisory Committee.

The Patriotic Front market chairperson Emogin Mandimu said he was aware of the problem on Lumumba Road and promised to carry out a sensitization campaign to discourage his members from trading on the road.

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