Transport operators yesterday said they were in full support of Government’s initiative to allow the police to use spikes only in extreme cases at roadblocks.
In a statement, Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators secretary general Mr Ngoni Katsvairo said there was need to use the gadgets responsibly at roadblocks. “We support the laying down of spikes to deter criminals, especially mushikashika operators, from operating in the CBD,” he said.
“We also urge drivers to stop when asked to do so by the police. “In the same vein, we encourage police officers to take heed of the call not to throw spikes on errant drivers as this endangers lives and destroys property.”
Mr Katsvairo said also of concern was that spikes were being used by some rogue elements for personal benefits, taking advantage of the situation. “Also of concern is that in instances that the spikes are used, they are mainly being used for personal benefit,” he said.
“Some police officers in civilian clothes are also seen moving around in the CBD with small spikes stashed in paper bags and this has increased criminality by both police officers in civilian clothes and bogus ones, thereby defeating the whole purpose and intention of allowing the use of spikes.”
Mr Katsvairo urged police officers to take a hard stance on pirate taxi drivers who were in the habit of paying bribes to facilitate for their release when arrested.
Last week, Government said it had written to police granting the force the nod to use spikes and guns to stop vehicles only in extreme cases of criminality, but ordered the implementation of an earlier instruction to reduce the number of roadblocks.
Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said that he wrote to Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri with the instructions following complaints from the public.
He said the ministry has received several reports concerning roadblocks which were being said to be very close to each other.
According to the police, spikes should only be placed in front of vehicles when police officers suspect that the driver might refuse to stop.