The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has with immediate effect banned its officers from using hand held spikes while performing traffic duties on the country’s roads.
This follows a public outcry over the continued use of the spikes that have resulted in civilians’ deaths as motorists try to flee from police at roadblocks.
In a statement issued today (Friday), national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyathi, said police officers were no longer allowed to use spokes.
“The Commissioner General of Police has noted with concern allegations that some police officers are using handheld spikes whilst trying to stop some errant motorists from evading police checkpoints and general enforcement of road rules and regulations in the country,” said Nyathi.
“These allegations have resulted in varied views from the public including parliamentarians. In this regard, the Commissioner-General of Police has with immediate effect banned the use of handheld spikes by any police officers whilst performing traffic enforcement duties throughout the country. Any police officer who will defy this directive will be arrested and face both criminal and stern disciplinary action.”
Nyathi said police commanders at various levels have been ordered to ensure that the directive is strictly complied with, by police officers, adding ZRP would only stick to the use of standard and approved spikes as the norm where they are strategically used at conventional roadblocks and checkpoints.
“The spikes are laid down on the ground with certified specifications to assist police officers to control motorists who will try to evade roadblocks by driving through the roadblocks or sideways and in the process pose a danger to other motorists, the general public, and police officers,” he explained.
“The police also appeal to drivers to stop whenever directed to do so by police officers on the roads. We have observed that in major cities such as Harare and Bulawayo some kombis and pirate taxis especially those with no number plates do not stop at police roadblocks or police checkpoints. This makes it difficult for police officers to either arrest or trace them to account for their illegal activities.”
Nyathi expressed concern over public service vehicle drivers and pirate taxis who get involved in road traffic accidents or openly go through red robots.
“In the same vein, the police urges all public service vehicle operators to seriously introspect on the manner they are conducting their operations in the country and genuinely assist in the maintenance of law and order on the roads,” he said.