MP Grills Minister Over Police Use Of Spikes On Motorists
By Leopold Munhende
Harare, February 17, 2017 – MATEBELELAND South proportional representation MP, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga has demanded an immediate stop to police tendencies to throw spikes under moving vehicles, something that has been linked to some road traffic accidents in Harare.
Misihairambwi cited the Criminal Codification and Reform Act which criminalises the throwing of objects on any person, vehicle or property with intent or potential to cause harm or damage.
“According to the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, the action by the police is illegal.
“What is government policy on police officers who throw spikes under moving vehicles?” said Misihairambwi-Mushonga in a question she directed at Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni on Wednesday.
The MDC official challenged the minister to present parliament with a law which empowers police to throw spikes under moving vehicles with full knowledge this could cause damage to property.
Mguni, in his response, insisted police had a right to use force in dealing with offending motorists.
“Police officers have a duty to protect this nation and therefore have the right to use force to deal with rogue elements in the same way they might fire a bullet in the air as a warning,” he said.
Referring to the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, Mguni said he had to revisit the law with the ministry and get back to parliament with a more informed response.
Groups of police operatives wielding spikes have become a common sight especially in Harare’s CBD as they carry out traffic laws enforcement duties.
Police have also carried out combined operations with municipal police in attempts to tame Harare’s wild traffic jungle.
However, this has in some instances resulted in nasty road accidents as commuter transport operators try to speed off to avoid the arrests with police often forced to throw spikes in attempts to force them to stop.
In January this year, a police officer was beaten up by angry members of the public in Harare for throwing a spike under a commuter transport omnibus resulting in the vehicle overturning and causing an injury to one passenger.