Roadblocks have become ineffective

EDITOR — It has become a trend in Zimbabwe during the festive season that on our highways there many   roadblocks that are meant to ensure public safety.

Recently, I travelled by road from Harare to Murambinda, Chivhu and Harare and, as expected, I found many roadblocks on my way, but to my surprise I noticed that most of these roadblocks are literally ineffective.

They are there because it has become a practice, not because they must be there. Instead, these roadblocks are now like Christmas trees, they are there because it is that time of the year. And all these roadblocks are set up at the same stop signs, traffic lights, orange cones, billboards and banners just like a Christmas tree with garlands, lights and ornaments.

Furthermore, most of them operate alike, you find police officers assigned to these roadblocks sitting under a tree or in a car and they keep waving their hands from a distance for the motor vehicles to proceed through.

I therefore asked myself what the purpose of these roadblocks is if the police officers do not stop vehicles to do inspections, such as worn-out tyres, mal-functioning lights and horns?

They also do not check for driver’s licences or test drivers if they are under the influence of alcohol. All they stop are the kombi drivers whom they know may give them bribes.

And my only answer was that most of these roadblocks are just there for decoration. This clearly shows that the system is failing us because this is the time of the year when a high number of people travel for holidays and roadblocks must be very strict with public road users.

But instead, these police officers stationed at such roadblocks think they are also on holiday and most of the time, they are engaged in personal discussions under the trees, in the process neglecting their official responsibilities.

This “Business as usual” attitude must stop. I urge our men and women in uniform at roadblocks to do their job properly. Let us save lives on our roads.



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