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Police, motorists battles claim lives in Zimbabwe

Story from: CAJ News Africa

zim policeFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe HARARE, (CAJ News) – RUNNING battles between Zimbabwe traffic police and errant drivers are resulting in unnecessary deaths on roads.This has been worsened by police officers throwing spikes at pirating taxi operators, resulting in a surge in traffic accidents.A woman was killed this week in the northern Karoi when police allegedly threw spikes at pirating taxi operators, after which one of the taxis ran over three people who sustained injuries.
It is also alleged that when vendors realised that the municipal police had arrived in a taxi, they pounded the vehicle with stones and later torched it.Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers that arrived at the scene to restore order also had their car damaged during the running battles.Recently, a police officer was assaulted by members of the enraged by throwing of spikes at a moving vehicle along Chinhoyi Street in Harare.Property was damaged and three pedestrians sustained injuries.Another commuter omnibus crashed along Gleneagles road in Harare after the driver lost control trying to avoid police spikes.Metal spikes are increasingly being used to impede or stop vehicles believed to be flouting road regulations in most parts of the country.Since motorists drivers are left with damages some quite extensive when spikes are thrown at their vehicles, they have questioned the legality oftheir use.In March, home affairs deputy minister, Obendingwa Mguni, said police officers should only use spikes to control traffic, not to the extent of endangering motorists and passengers.He also highlighted that the spikes should be laid, not thrown. A motorist has since lodged an application in the High Court challenging the use of spikes.The Zimbabwe Peace Project called on police to use other methods to follow up on motorists flouting regulations.“Officers must fulfil their constitutional mandate, which is to protect lives and property.”

– CAJ News

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