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Monday, July 1, 2013

Zimbabwe Council for Tourism ZCT

From: Zimbabwe Council for Tourism ZCT
Date: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM
Subject: Reportback on Meeting with ZRP Traffic
Following an outcry from Members on the excessive number of police roadblocks nationwide, ZCT and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority jointly met with the Police National Traffic command led by Senior Assistant Commissioner Chari.  Facilitated by ZTA chief Karikoga Kaseke, the meeting was attended by industry representatives including Barbara Murasiranwa (ZCT Victoria Falls region), ITOZA chair Wengayi Nhau, ZTA COO Givemore Chidzidzi, ZCT executive director June Muchemenyi-Nazare and senior ZTA executives.

The police team was receptive, with Snr Ass Comm Chari welcoming the Tourism sector's constructive approach to working with the police to address areas of mutual concern.  He emphasised that a positive representation of the police and their professional, courteous and friendly service delivery could do much to enhance Zimbabwe's destination image.

He explained that traffic police had a three-pronged mandate:
• Ensuring road safety of all stakeholders through awareness campaigns, educating and training driverson safe road usage.

•Traffic law enforcement - i.e. arresting and fining offenders breaking traffic laws.

•Traffic investigations including road accidents.

He conceded that the number of roadblocks appeared excessive given that the police, in addition to their own duties listed above, also partner other authorities such as VID, National Parks, ZINARA, ZBC, EMA and others inthe enforcements of their own statutory requirements.  He also credited ZRP's success in reducing incidents of carjackings, political violence, stocktheft, wildlife and wood poaching, drug trafficking and armed robberies to his department's presence on the roads.

Whilst he advised that an exercise was in progress to rationalise and reduce the number of roadblocks, he warned that as Zimbabwe was approaching elections, the presence of police on the roads would remain or even increase to enforce law and order.

Additionally, the public could expect high police presence during peak periods such as public holidays and opening and close of school terms to protect the high volume of road users.  The police shall also increase presence in Victoria Falls for the UNWTO General Assembly in August.

Snr Ass. Comm. Chari advised that traffic fines range from US$5 to US$20 maximum, and that a public schedule of all traffic fines was available from police stations.

Agreed course of action

• ZCT and ZTA  were invited to participate in the training of national traffic police to sensitise them on tourism.  The first of these training sessions took place on Thursday 20 June at ZRP National Traffic HQ in Harare, and involved some 30 Highway Patrol officers. Ben Ncube and June Muchemenyi-Nazare represented ZTA and ZCT respectively

• Tourism operators are advised to get to know their local police officers-in-charge and to work closely with them to enable minimum hinderance of tourism operations.  

• Operators and self-drive tourists are advised to ensure compliance with requirements of Zimbabwean road and traffic regulations so that they are not caught on the wrong side of the law.

• The tourism sector was advised to lobby for amendments to SI 154/2010 which requires operators to display documents on vehicles, and to unbundle the tourism operator’s licences from that of public commuter transport vehicles.

• Ass. Comm. Chimwanza is working on co-ordination of all national road blocks.

• Members should not tolerate or promote poor or unprofessional conduct from traffic police. Report any such conduct to the nearest police station officer-in-charge.  Disciplinary measures will be taken against 'bad apples' tarnishing the image of the ZRP.

• The private sector is invited to partner the police in sponsoring cones and equipment to improve the appearance and visibility of roadblocks.  Interested Members please contact ZCT.

National Traffic Police HQ Contacts:

Senior Assistant Commissioner Martin Chari – Officer Commanding Police Traffic 0712867797/0773 400 999

Assistant Commissioner Chipato – Crime 0712885243

Assistant Commissioner Chimwanza – Operations 0712586827

Assistant Commissioner Mtombeni – Admin 0712883312

ZCT appreciates ZTA's facilitation of this fruitful meeting and establishment of good rapport with ZRP, and looks forward to a mutually beneficial partnership going forward.

Kind regards

ZCT Secretariat

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