By Audience Mutema
Zimbabweans should brace for the return of more traffic enforcement police officers on the country’s major roads following a Tuesday cabinet decision to ensure “increased highway police patrols”.
Speaking while briefing the media on cabinet deliberations as has now become the norm, Information and Publicity Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was concerned with the tragic loss of 46 people during a recent road accident in Rusape.
“Cabinet expressed grave concern over the recent road traffic accident which took place near Rusape and which claimed 46 lives,” Mutsvangwa said.
“To minimise such painful occurrence and alleviate the plight of road traffic accident victims, cabinet resolved to call for greater enforcement of the use of integrated traffic management systems and increased highway police patrols.”
Since taking over government exactly a year ago, President Mnangagwa removed conspicuous groups of traffic enforcement officers which had become a menace to motorists who were constantly pestered for bribes.
Although police have been seen manning roadblocks in some areas, the unpopular operation has greatly reduced while the same police are nolonger as aggressive as they used to a year ago.
The thought of their return in increased numbers may not come as good news to those who have experienced the worst in their hands.
“Drivers of public passenger vehicles be required to undergo defensive driving examinations and re-testing after every two years,” she said.
Mutsvangwa also said government has pledged to set up a road compensation fund to help ameliorate the plight of those injured through road accidents and their surviving families.
Turning to matters to do with the economy, Mutsvangwa said government has pledged to work effectively to stabilise prices, the availability of fuel, basic commodities and medicines by asking the central bank to assist the packaging industry as it is affecting the price of most of the products.
In addition, she said, authorities are going to boost medical supplies involved in a government to government arrangement with India, toll manufacturing and ensure other financial facilities are expeditiously concluded.
Government also resolved to establish foreign currency monitoring mechanisms on firms currently receiving foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.