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Rid roads of corrupt police

Friday February 28 2020

EDITORIAL
By EDITORIAL
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Nearly a year since he became the Inspector-General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai has been grappling with streamlining traffic control to rid it of endemic graft.

One of his early directives was to reduce roadblocks on highways, saying they should be sparingly used and cleared by regional police bosses.

But the IG's order has not had much impact as the crooked officers were not going to let their cash cow go so easily.

The Traffic Department has always been a lucrative posting that many officers even bribe for. While the intention is good, the motivation of the hordes of officers at roadblocks is sheer extortion.

These officers do not stand in the sun at the same spot all day to ensure smooth traffic flow and crack down on errant drivers; they are often out to extort bribes.

TRAFFIC CONTROL

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Roadblocks and Alcoblow tests have been used by wayward senior and junior officers alike to enrich themselves.

Roadblocks would be mounted, hundreds arrested but only a handful would appear in court. This explains why the National Police Service has gone slow on the drink-driving tests.

However, traffic control is a key responsibility of the police service. Its role is to enforce traffic rules and regulations to enhance road safety.

This is why the latest effort to streamline traffic control is welcome. The police have received 38 motor vehicles to enhance highway patrols as the IG withdrew traffic police from the highways.

But following several failed attempts, it will be interesting to see how the new directive is effected.

The patrol cars may not be enough to cover every stretch of road but it is a good start.

The traffic police mobility, which should be supplemented by motorcycles, presents a good opportunity to uproot the endemic graft on the highways.

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