Following the removal of police roadblocks in the country by Minister of Home Affairs Jack Mwiimbu, the Taxis and Bus Owners Association of Zambia has lamented the move, claiming that it has deprived them of business opportunities.
In an interview yesterday in Kitwe, Association president Amis Daudi stated that the measure has left most taxi and bus owners out of work because pirate transporters have taken advantage of the lack of road blocks to conduct illegal business.
“We welcome the pronouncement although it has left us without business, you know piracy has been the biggest challenge to us as taxis and bus owners and now the suspension of the road blocks has increased the number of pirate operators, there is need for the police to find a way of curbing piracy in the absence of officers on the road,” Mr Daudi lamented.
He however said that the move will help to remove congestion and inconvenience on roads which was caused by the numerous police snap checks points.
However, Police Spokesperson Ester Katongo when contacted said the suspension of the road blocks was a temporal measure aimed at giving the command time to revisit the operations of traffic officers with regard to snap checks on the roads.
“The suspension is just for a certain period of time to allow the command to revisit the operations of traffic officers when it comes to snap check points so once that is done the traffic officers will still come back on the road.
“ The main essence is to revive and see how these can be operated and how they are going to be done because we found that there were a lot of these on one stretch which was an inconvenience to members of the public,” Ms Katongo said.
She went on to say that police officers will continue to conduct highway patrols and will be able to intervene and stop piracy if they see pirate operators.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu announced the suspension of police roadside checkpoints except at designated checkpoints.
And, just this week, Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba released a list of formal checkpoints across the country.