Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
BULAWAYO residents have expressed optimism over the move by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to scrap spot fines and reduce the number of roadblocks.
Police are implementing reforms in line with the country’s new dispensation, promising a people centred service.
The reforms include doing away with spot fines, having one roadblock within 100 kilometres while promoting a culture of closer supervision of junior officers.
Police said motorists who would be found guilty of traffic offences will have an option of paying their fines within a stipulated period at the police station while serious cases will be taken to court.
Residents who spoke to The Chronicle last Friday said scrapping of spot fines was long overdue considering the economic situation.
Mr Takavada Chinyoka said most motorists were not fugitives.
“I’ve always believed spot fines were not legal. We are not foreigners, we are people of fixed abode whom police can trace in case we do not pay the tickets. So it’s encouraging and exciting that police have finally found their ‘common sense’ on the matter. Cash is hard to come by. Spot fines were almost criminalising being fined for a traffic offence,” said Mr Chinyoka.
He said it was also encouraging to see police proposing to reduce the number of road blocks.
Mr Chinyoka said the roads were no longer passable due to the excessive presence of cops on the roads.
Another motorist, Miss Nancy Ndlovu said police must be present on the roads but they must not harass people.
“We need them on the roads but those spot fines were not sustainable. They were overdoing them. Can you imagine after failing to pay the fines and they would impound your car?” asked Miss Ndlovu.
She said police must walk the talk as it is one thing to propose something and another to implement it.
Mr Sithemba Khumalo, a kombi driver, said the reduction in roadblocks was good for those in the transport sector.
He said in the past few weeks, the transport sector has made more profits as cops no longer unnecessarily interferred with their operations.