Home Affairs deputy minister Obendingwa Mguni yesterday said police officers should only use metal spikes to control traffic and not to the extent of endangering motorists and passengers.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Responding to a question in the National Assembly from Bulawayo MP (Proportional Representation) Nicola Watson (MDC) over the use of spikes by police at roadblocks, Mguni said the law enforcement agents have a right to use the spikes to stop and control traffic.
Mguni defended the police officers, saying they do not throw spikes at moving vehicles, but that they only “put” them as barriers to stop vehicles.
“I have gone there to see for myself whether they throw or put the spikes. Just like the drums at roadblocks, I found that they put spikes,” Mguni alleged.
Public transport operators and motorists have raised concern over the use of spikes by police manning roadblocks as they endangered passengers and passers-by. The throwing of spikes has resulted in fatal accidents involving public vehicles attempting to evade arrest for traffic offences.
“It is this Parliament that has to educate the public to follow the rules that they are carrying people, they are carrying lives. You can’t run away from a $10 fine and run over the spike to sacrifice the life of everyone,” Mguni said.
He said it was illegal for police officers to throw spikes at moving vehicles with an intent to cause harm or damage.
When asked by Zvishavane MP John Holder (Zanu PF) if the spikes were provided for under the Police Act, the deputy minister said it was a mechanism of controlling traffic and preventing cars from parking or passing through prohibited areas.
His response did not satisfy the House although some Zanu PF MPs were seen clapping hands while the minister was responding.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly yesterday moved to congratulate Chief Justice-designate Luke Malaba following his appointment by President Robert Mugabe last week.
Justice Malaba, who had been Deputy Chief Justice since 2008, takes over from Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, who retired as Chief Justice as the end of last month.