HARARE – Zimbabwe has begun trials to computerise police roadblocks in a bid to reduce the number of security checkpoints on the country’s roads, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo told Parliament yesterday.
Chombo was responding to MDC legislator Nelson Chamisa on what government was doing to reduce police roadblocks that the Kuwadzana East MP said had dented tourism and fuelled corruption as the economy weakens.
“When are we likely to see….. the reduction of roadblocks on the roads, an issue that is affecting tourism in this country, even members of Parliament and the ordinary citizen are being affected by this issue,” Chamisa said.
Chombo said the new computerisation system would enable police officers to access all the details about a car’s insurance, licencing and history.
“Now we are working strongly to make sure that when you get to one roadblock, everything about your vehicle history, where it was bought will come out, this will reduce roadblocks.
“You will be arrested once and pay your fine and the licensing will be done there.
“Some of the roadblocks will be at toll plazas, so it won’t be the old systems where they ask for you ID and the like, you will not need to come out of your car when this computerisation has been implemented,” Chombo said during the question and answer session.
“The police go out to roadblocks to catch those who do not pay licences in line with regulations, so the police have a duty to assess the cars and registration. Before the vehicle registry and licensing systems were not merged into one system.
“Trials began yesterday, when the experts we hired already began the pilot programme at Avondale Police.
“Now you can see that a certain police officer stopped whoever at what time, and how much was paid.
“You will even pay council licensing there and the system.”
This comes as drivers have expressed anger over numerous roadblocks that police set up on the streets of the capital and around the country, forcing drivers to pay bribes.
Zimbabwean police recently promised to decrease the number of roadblocks following complaints lodged by parliamentarians, tourism operators and drivers.