The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) will from tomorrow launch a massive crackdown targeting unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles in a nationwide blitz that will signal the return of roadblocks, Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has said.
Matanga made the announcement yesterday at this year’s World First Aid Day commemorations held at Morris Depot, Harare.
He said the days for those driving without licences and those driving unregistered vehicles were now over.
“By the powers vested in me by the President [Emmerson Mnangagwa], I would like to warn members of the public that starting Monday [tomorrow], police will launch a massive operation to get rid of unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles,” Matanga said.
“Those caught on the wrong side of the law will have their cars impounded, while the law will take its course on unlicensed drivers.”
Traffic police disappeared from the roads during the military takeover of government institutions that resulted in former president Robert Mugabe’s ouster in November last year.
In recent months, the police have been slowly returning to man roadblocks, but their visibility has remained very low resulting in serious traffic jams in cities such as Harare.
Meanwhile, Matanga said first aid was a necessary tool for law enforcement agents as they were the first responders during emergencies and disasters.
“Barely a day passes without police being called to protect human life during a road accident and other emergencies and national disasters,” he said.
“We deeply cherish and value the priceless first aid training services which from time immemorial have been extended to us by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society [ZRCS] and has no doubt enabled the ZRP to save lives.”
Matanga said this year’s commemorations had come against the backdrop of the high number of deaths and injuries due to road traffic accidents worldwide.
According to the police boss, a total of 38 620 accidents were recorded in 2016 in Zimbabwe, with 1 291 being fatal, while last year 42 430 accidents occurred and 1 838 people lost their lives from the accidents.
ZRCS president Edson Mlambo said his organisation valued the importance of first aid, hence the need for locals to prepare for emergencies and disasters through sound first aid training.
“Our national statistics indicate a surge in the number of people trained from the mining sector, private companies, schools and as well as the uniformed forces as represented by the ZRP,” he said.
— The Standard