Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) has commended the government through the Ministry of Transport and Logistics for its decision to re-introduce Police road-blocks in view of the many fatal accidents that have occurred in the past few days.
Patriots For Economic Progress (PeP) President Sean Tembo said that their Party has welcomed the statement issued by the Minister of Transport Frank Tayali that Government will re-introduce., because of the recent accidents, including the Great East Road University of Zambia (UNZA) Entrance accident which claimed 12 lives, as well as the Nsumbu-Nsama Road accident which claimed the lives of 20 members of the United Church of Zambia.
Mr Tembo stated that as the Patriots for Economic Progress, they wish to put it on record that when the United Party for National Development (UPND) Administration made the populist policy decision to suspend Police road-blocks upon ascending to office about a year ago, the Party strongly opposed it on the basis that Police road-blocks are important for the purpose of maintaining law and order on the roads, as well as averting road traffic accidents and saving lives.
“However, in their usual fashion of not listening to opposition voices, the UPND Government rubbished our concerns,” Mr Tembo noted
He said that it is further worth noting that the UPND Administration decided to ban Police road-blocks on the basis of mere speculation that Traffic Police Officers are corrupt and that the policing of our roads should only be left in the hands of the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA), this was despite the advice that RTSA does not have enough manpower to adequately police in the roads in the absence of the Zambia Police Traffic Department.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we demand that the New Dawn administration in general, and the Ministers of Transport and Logistics as well as Home Affairs and Internal Security Honorable Frank Tayali and Honorable Jack Mwiimbu respectively should lender an apology to the Zambian people for the hundreds of lives that have been unnecessarily lost on our roads in the past one year, because of their wrong policy decision to suspend police road-blocks,” Mr Tembo mentioned
Mr Tembo said that such an apology from the government is a decent thing to do and it will give citizens an assurance that the UPND Administration has learnt from its policy mistakes, and that going forward they will be more considerate to the advice coming from the opposition political parties such as PeP.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to advise the UPND administration that no government has ever succeeded in properly running the affairs of the nation to the exclusion of key stakeholders such as the opposition,” he said
Mr Tembo cited that successfully running a government is supposed to be a collective undertaking by all stakeholders in the country, including the opposition political parties, the UPND should therefore, advise its praise singers to desist from insulting, demeaning and persecuting people such as the PeP that hold a different view on national matters.
“We mean well for this nation and oftentimes, our views on national matters are better informed than those of the government, let us unite in our ideas for building our nation and delivering development to our people. Our people want development and not petty politicking whereby Government considers anything coming from the opposition as bad and wrong,” Mr Tembo mentioned
Meanwhile, Minister of Transport and Logistics Frank Tayali stated that he will immediately engage his Home Affairs and Internal Security counterpart Jack Mwiimbu, on the need to bring back the roadblocks.
Mr Tayali’s remarks come in the wake of an accident on the University of Zambia – Great East Road junction that has claimed eleven lives
Speaking after visiting the accident scene and survivors at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital, the Transport and Logistics Minister described the accident as tragic and called for an end to recklessness on the road.
Mr Tayali noted that there is a need to revise the road patrols and bring back road blocks in order to reduce the number of accidents.
He has further noted that the increase in road accidents in the country is due to lack of intense police traffic patrols.