By Duncan Mlanjira
The general public has applauded strict measures taken by Northern Region Police stopping traffic police officers from mounting unauthorized traffic checkpoints as well as an unauthorized confiscation of driver’s licences.
A circular from Regional Traffic Officer-North, Sub Superintendent M.G. Chambakata, No: NR/20/2D dated 31/10/2019 addressed to all traffic officers, says police management in the region has been receiving complaints from the general public for “unprincipled way some officers are displaying whilst executing duties on the road”.
The circular further says the police management has noted with concern that some officers institute unnecessary traffic check points in cities and towns and confiscating driver’s licences from motorist without issuing offense notification.
It also notes that traffic officers utter abusive words to offenders and charge unrealistic offences to motorist and more.
“In this regards it is directed with immediate effect that:
*Traffic check point without cashier is not allowed
*There must be designated places cities and towns for check points not anywhere for it will assist management in close supervision
*No traffic officer is allowed to keep a driving licence for offender without the knowledge of the STO and such licences must be in the custody of the STO
*In district and other policing jurisdiction, not more than two check points are allowed on the road
*Make sure there must be traffic officers on shift on all road blocks
*Make sure point duties in cities and towns is a priority
*No traffic check is allowed in peak hours or when assigned on operation duties
*Traffic officers are strictly encouraged to exercise integrity and professionalism when executing traffic duties
“Whoever will act in contrast to this message, drastic measures will follow,” warns the memo.
The moment the circular went viral on social media, the general public is now asking that these measures must be circulated and applied across the country and not just for the Northern Region.
“This is now management,” comments Chizamsoka Manda. “It’s like we are in a State of Emergency for cars. Please implement this.”
Leornard Yankho Phiri said: “This should apply to Lilongwe and other regions as well, more especially peak hours. You find a police traffic officer making a horrible traffic jam even worse by mounting a check point.”
Po Mvula: “You will find seven checkpoints on Mzuzu to Mtwalo headquarters, a distance of just less than 50km.”
A comment of relief from Moffat Mwangonde said. “No wonder today no there was no traffic officer from Dunduzu to Enukweni. Amatikwana anthu amenewa.”