Iron spikes: ZRP's new weaponry

HARARE - While not so long ago the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) traffic section had become notorious for chasing down kombis in town and smashing their windscreens, this time around the force has devised another tool — the hand iron spikes.

In the past, it had become normal to see many kombis operating in the Central Business District (CBD) with smashed windscreens because such police practise was an everyday operation.

At the rate at which the kombis were hit by police batons, passengers had become so fearful as this was putting their lives in danger.

But with public outcries getting louder and louder everyday as evading kombis hit innocent pedestrians,and causing unnecessary deaths, ZRP discontinued the practise.

While we all thought sanity had prevailed in the CBD, little did we not know that the ZRP traffic section had other ideas and today most of their details manning check points and roadblocks are armed with hand iron spikes.

Just like the short guns tucked in their waistbands, the iron spikes have become part of the ZRP traffic police weaponry — a first for a professional police force operating in our era.

In the past, we all knew that at every police road block there would be an armed police detail just a few metres away from the check points and hiding in the grass just in case a motorist wanted to speed off.

But because the check points are now too many and everywhere I think the idea of an armed police detail just a few meters away from the check point can no longer hold.

The ZRP should be reminded that the iron hand spikes are dangerous as they can cause deaths if they are thrown at moving vehicles and more so because the target here are mostly the kombis that would be carrying passengers.

The ZRP is putting passengers’ lives at risk with these iron hand spikes which they are always brandishing at cars approaching their check points and ordinary people are now living in fear.

In the CBD, the ZRP traffic police is now stationed at every road junction that is controlled by traffic lights — most of them holding these iron spikes.

On all major roads leading into the CBD, there are numerous check points and one wonders whether this is now a police State.

But why should the ZRP always come up with intimidating tactics that scare motorists and put innocent passengers’ lives at risk?

Surely one wonders what priorities our police force has because I am sure these spikes are costing a lot of money to manufacture.

Who is paying for all these spikes because it seems every police station has loads and loads of them?

Why should the ZRP use taxpayers’ money to produce these dangerous spikes? Who is manufacturing them because this should be big business?

In the event that the police throw these iron spikes and a car overturns, will the ZRP be liable for the deaths that will occur as a result?

Will they be liable to pay for the flattened tyres in any eventuality and whose insurance would be responsible?

The ZRP should come out clean and tell us where such police tactics are coming from and whether the police details handling such dangerous weapons are trained to use them. Are these kinds of weaponry now forming part of the traffic police training?

The few tourists still coming to Zimbabwe have over the years been complaining about the presence of police checkpoints and roadblocks on the main roads.

And one wonders whether the ZRP is still there to protect citizens and maintain law and order or they are now a business entity out there to generate and raise funds.

Comments (1)

the ZRP road blocks are there to collect revenue from the motoring public stopping motorists and charging them with real or imaginary offences, collecting spot fines which helps to pay ZRP wages and salaries, they are NOT there to assist or educate motorists, viva

sad - 20 January 2017

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