29 December 2017
HARARE – While the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has apologised for its
ill practices and transgressions of the past, the latest Christmas road
traffic accidents statistics compel us to once again remind the law
enforcement agency of their mandate.
The stats speak volumes about our beloved police’s conduct. According to
deputy national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi road traffic accidents
significantly declined during this year’s Christmas holiday.
Nine people died in eighty-nine reported road traffic accidents that
happened during the holiday, 44 percent down from the 16 fatalities
recorded on the same day last year.
The number of traffic accidents recorded on Christmas day also went down
by 16 percent from 106 in 2016.
There was also a six percent reduction in the number of people who were
injured in the 89 road traffic accidents recorded on the day, with 42
injuries being recorded compared to 45 in 2016.
Nyathi attributed the significant reduction to improved behaviour by
drivers, as a result of awareness campaigns which were carried out jointly
by the ZRP and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.
But curiously, all those improved statistics come at a time the ZRP has
been forced to drastically reduce its presence on the country’s roads.
During this Christmas holiday, there was literally no police on the
country’s roads. This is not to say that we do not want police on the
The point is after having enjoyed peace, safety and less hectic travel
during this year’s Christmas, as there was little to almost none police
presence on the roads, the nation has seen road traffic accidents
significantly go down. Road carnage has drastically dropped, amid very
low to almost none police presence.
This brings up that burning question – why were so many lives lost due to
road accidents, yet we had so many police roadblocks and check points on
almost every road countrywide?
Before the recent military-led “Operation Restore Legacy”, which
apparently shepherded the country’s power transition, police roadblocks
And despite public outcry and concerns that there was little and no
meaningful benefit from the roadblocks, the law enforcers insisted and
maintained the roadblocks.
But the latest statistics almost prove that all those roadblocks were
irrelevant. Once again, the police’s apology was noted, but we are keenly
watching you. You need to earn your keep and prove your relevance to the
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