Police spikes put govt on the spot

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A ZRP officer carries spikes at a roadblock along Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo yesterday

HOME Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has distanced the government from the practice by police of throwing spikes to stop vehicles saying the ministry had no such policy.

NDUDUZO TSHUMA
STAFF REPORTER

Ziyambi’s revelations come in the wake of a lawsuit against Bulawayo police after 16 people almost lost their lives after cops threw spikes in front of a kombi they were travelling in last month.

Speaking during question time in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Ziyambi said he was not aware that the police were continuing to use spikes and smashing windscreens with their batons. He was responding to legislators who wanted him to clarify the government’s position on the use of the two measures.

Zanu PF Bubi MP Clifford Sibanda had asked Ziyambi whether it was government policy for police to throw the tyre puncturing spikes at moving buses and endangering the lives of passengers whereas the fault would be the driver’s. Ziyambi said the government had no policy on throwing spikes at buses.

“What we do is that at certain roadblocks we indicate and there will be spikes to indicate that you have to stop. However, some of our drivers want to run away, but as police there is no policy that there should be throwing of spikes at buses,” said Ziyambi.

MDC-T legislator Evelyn Masaiti-Muzungu quizzed Ziyambi on who was responsible for medical bills of those who become victims in accidents caused either by spikes or smashing of windscreens.

“I have indicated that we do not have a policy of throwing spikes at vehicles. On that regard, we cannot be held liable for something that we did not cause.

“However, all public vehicles are supposed to be insured,” Ziyambi said.

MDC-T Kambuzuma MP Willies Madzimure hit back at Ziyambi saying: “The minister is telling the House that the police do not throw spikes, but they use spikes at their roadblocks.

“Is the minister being truthful to this House?

“Can the minister also confirm that it is not government policy to use baton sticks to smash windscreens because there is continued use of baton sticks.”

Ziyambi said Madzimure was asking the question for the second time and the answer remained the same.

“I answered the question regarding the smashing of windows and he is asking it again,” he said.

“Whether it is the policy well, I indicated already that we do not have a policy to that effect. I am not aware that the police are continuing to do the same.”