Politics

Corruption Complaints against Chilenje Traffic Police

zambia-police-corruptionMotorists have complained against rampant acts of corruption involving traffic police officers at Chilenje Police Station.

Some Chilenje residents interviewed after going through unfair and unprofessional police conduct by traffic officers said the Home affairs Minister Edgar Lungu and Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani must discipline the police at Chilenje. Speaking during random interviews at Chilenje Police Station, some motorists complained that matters of soliciting bribes and charging drivers with flimsy offences were getting out of hand at the Police Station.

Mrs Pauline Chitente said traffic police officers from Chilenje said the traffic officers were mounting roadblocks in the Township as early as 06:00 hours.

She said the police were targeting women drivers and those driving public service vehicles as easy targets for siphoning money. Mrs Chitente said the police were also thriving on people’s ignorance of traffic offences and fines they attract.

“We just used to hear that there is corruption in the police, but what I have experienced with the police at Chilenje is very disturbing. There is no way a police man can be asking for a bribe from a citizen with such impunity. The worse thing is that even women, who everyone is claiming that they are better leaders are also in the forefront of intimidating and stealing from people. It is strange for a woman to openly ask for a bribe in our culture. This country is headed nowhere if we shall continue like this,” she said.

Another motorist Joseph Mbewe said the police arrested him because he was driving a vehicle without insurance and road fitness, although he had sufficient proof from his documents that he was taking the said car for inspection at the Road Transport and safety Agency, while he had a written booking for insurance inspection on the same day.

“I was made to look foolish. I was reduced to a beggar in trying to get the police officers to understand that there was no way I could get my car for road fitness and insurance inspection without driving it on the roads where I was impounded. These are the people who are tarninshing to good name of the service,” he said.

Mbewe who resides along Pemba road said he was impounded by the police along the same road when he was driving out of his yard.

He said the police were harassing innocent motorists and were in the habit of impounding private cars even in charges that did not require the police to confiscate a motor vehicle.

Mbewe said he gave K50, 000 to Sergeant Inambao and Sergeant Phiri and they released him to go with the vehicle, which they claimed was not road worthy.

“I was not the only one who gave Sergeant Phiri and Sergeant Inambao money. They also collected from other people. They are very tactical in the way they do it. They would ensure that you become desperate for the car by mentioning all those charges and the fines they carry, but they would ask if you have any amount if you cannot afford the official figures. I saw the two police men receive amounts of not less than K50, 000 from each motorist,” he said.

Mbewe said the media in Zambia should not focus on reporting corruption involving politicians alone, but also report on petty corruption in the police.

He said many innocent people were suffering because of being oppressed by the police, who are expected to serve the people.

A public service vehicles driver Thomas Gondwe said it had become normal for the police to impound his car and each they did that, the bus drivers have aflat figure of K50, 000, which they police collect.

He said Sergeant Phiri from the traffic section was a friend of the bus drivers.

“We expect the government to address such things because the new government promised to improve a lot of things for the bus drivers, but we are not seeing anything,” he said.

Gondwe said even if the salaries and other conditions of service for the police were improved, their corrupt behaviour would not change because they had become deeply entrenched in the graft.

6 Comments

  1. Aristotle

    This is typical of a police state. Racketeering and all thing corruption are only getting worse due to the lack of professionalism at the highest level. The mindset only trickles down. In the short time that Dr. Malama was in charge, the changes were evident. Then again, what do you expect from a PHD, only the same level of educated and professional etiquette. I personally dealt with the man and his level of reasoning was obvious. PF comes into office and what do you get, nepotism in the realms of Law Enforcement.

    In one instance, I personally got charged fro speeding on the great north road, which I certainly was. Another South African motorist was charged in Rand which he paid and went on his way. Being in the middle of nowhere, I was charged with ZMK350,000 which I did not have. I was told that they were going to impound my vehicle and that I had to find my way. Like hell you are going to drive my $25,000 vehicle. If it is in the law that police officers can commandeer private vehicles, well that needs to be repealed. In this day and age of Insurance guidelines that will not allow for this kind of relinquishing of ones vehicle, how does the GRZ account for damages or loss in the event that their officers destroy private property? They can’t!!
    Anyway, I questioned the Rand transaction and wondered how the GRZ was transacting in foreign currency on a GRZ receipt? How do you arrive at a designated rate? Then again, I am sure home affairs has it in their selective interpretation of the law? I was given the opportunity to pay the charge at the next police station (major command post) at which point I questioned the officer in charge at the time of the incident. Unfortunately, this chap actually endorsed and dignified the officers behavior.

    1. I refused to pay the charge.
    2. Will not pay the charge to this day.
    3. I will never carry a Zambian police officer in my personal vehicle, period. GRZ can equip their own officers.
    4. I will never allow a Zambian police officer to drive my vehicle, over my dead body!
    5. Zambian Legal Tender, the last I checked is Zambian Kwacha and no other currency. Until this is enforced as Law, cops can forget it. It will be a bloody day on the road the day I am pushed into any of the above noted.

    It is both disgusting and repulsive, the levels of corruption and impunity. We are aware as a nation and government has endorsed these practices. This is a situation that is here to stay. Until we rise up and fight against such, forget fair play, honesty and all that goes with the latter. GRZ, take charge of your criminals and stop harassing us. This is the only home we have and this is breeding a very tense environment. When it snaps, better believe, there will be nowhere to run.

    Very very disgusted and frustrated tax payer and motorist.

  2. donalds

    US DoD study on random polygraphs for personnel. http://t.co/Tr7uafTd
    “the polygraph is the single most effective tool for finding information people were trying to hide.” – DoD, NSA

    RANDOM. Break the code. Break the culture.

  3. jayjay B.

    madam libongani, pleaze, you also try to investigate, the mufulira trafic section. They are the worst rotten and corrupt elements.

  4. GOGO GO

    Bwana Senior Traffic Officer, please sort out those corrupt officers at the mentioned stations because they are tarnishing the image of the Zambia Police Service.What is the Divisional Traffic Officer at Lusaka Division doing on this matter.? Ala bane twasebana pafula.Let us have some sanity officers.

  5. Mubanga

    Throughout Zambia, the Traffic Officers are extremely corrupt!
    At times I wonder which corruption the PF is allergic to when their own PF Police are the most corrupt of all Zambians. They solicit and receive bribes with impunity in broad day light! We cannot live in such a country! Something must be done. Unfortunately, the PF government do not care about us as long as they can buy opposition MPs, bribe voters, and persecute RB. Very nauseating!

  6. Police Chief David C

    Let’s face it, police misconduct hurts everyone – including the police as they lose support, trust and respect. Do you know how to find out if your police are what they should be? And, if not, how they can be improved? Follow my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com and read “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off…”

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