Zimbabwe: Rules for roadblocks laid down

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THE Government has said roadblocks must not be mounted less than 10 kilometres apart as it violates United Nations (UN) guidelines on road patrols.

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni said it was not only illegal but also bizarre to have roadblocks within a 10 kilometre radius.

Cde Mguni said this in Parliament last week while responding to a question posed by Chitungwiza North MP Godfrey Sithole (MDC-T) on the criteria used to mount roadblocks.

Deputy Minister Mguni also said too many roadblocks do not promote tourism.

“The policy is driven from the United Nations. In a written document, it says roadblocks can be mounted 10 kilometres apart.

“However, here in Zimbabwe we don’t have numbers of police who can manage to do every roadblock and it is not tourism friendly to mount roadblocks after every 10 kilometres. It’s bizarre for the country,” said Cde Mguni.

He said sometimes police use their discretion to mount roadblocks when they deem it necessary as part of their operational duties.

“We choose the correct spots which we think are hot spots where the roadblock should be and the other thing is that there are secrets which even I as a Minister they (police) cannot tell me because they’re are doing operational duties where they can mount a roadblock there and change it as they get information because they have got intelligence information within them.

So they have to mount (roadblocks) since the people is being organised to revolt. Some people may destroy properties, it may be dangerous to other people’s lives so police have the right to make decisions to keep the country in a peaceful state,” said Cde Mguni.

The Deputy Minister also clarified the difference between roadblocks, spot checks and patrols.

“These are three different things. Usually, the motor bikes people are doing what we call patrols and spot checks. They can patrol whether they are two and if they see suspicious vehicles, they have the right to stop them because they do not patrol just to go. They have to identify something which is wrong and they have got the right to stop and make inquiries whether they are two or one,” he said.

Cde Mguni said roadblocks must have three or more police officers.

“In a patrol as well, besides the motor bike — it could be a BMW or any other car, two officers can be there in that car. They drive it along the road patrolling and identifying unusual activities. They can stop vehicles and search if they have to,” he said.— @AuxiliaK.

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