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Parley courts Police chief on motorists

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Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Public Infrastructure says it will summon Malawi Police Service Inspector General (IG) George Kainja over reports that there is a sour relationship between traffic police and motorists.

The committee said the decision to engage the IG has come about after observing that there are increased cases of physical confrontation between motorists and traffic police officers who enforce laws on the roads.

Committee’s chairperson Uchizi Mkandawire cited a recent incident in Blantyre, where a motorist hit three traffic police officers who were on duty.

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Earlier this week, Police in Blantyre arrested a motorist they identified as Clifford Henry Khomba for allegedly hitting four traffic police officers who stopped him for a traffic offence at Bestobell, along the Masauko Chipembere Highway.

Southern Region Police spokesperson Ramsey Mushani said four police officers, all from the South West Region Police Headquarters, sustained injuries and were assessed at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

He indicated that Khomba would answer charges of malicious damage for destroying a speed gun camera which the officers were using and acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm for the injuries of the officers.

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Another case of confrontation was registered in Mzimba District, where a driver tore banknotes after being confronted by traffic officers for allegedly flouting traffic laws.

Mkandawire said such cases were worrying.

“That is why we are going to invite the IG to a round-table to discuss how the situation can be improved. We condemn the citizens who have victimised police in line of duty and the police who have roughed up citizens who committed traffic offences,” Mkandawire said.

Speaking in a separate interview, Kainja said he was ready to meet with committee members on the matter.

“I saw a text message on the matter and I have replied to him that I am ready. Unfortunately, he has not come back to me,” Kainja said.

He added that some of the cases happen because officers deal with people who are drunk, hence the introduction of spot checks and breathalyzers.

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