Use of any private or personal motorcade illegal: ZRP

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has clarified the position on the use and provision of motorised escorts and said in terms of the country’s laws, only the State Presidium will be provided with motorised escorts or a state motorcade.
A concerned citizen, Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi had written an open letter expressing his deep concern over the increasing misuse of emergency lights and sirens by government officials and private individuals in Zimbabwe.
“It has come to my attention that deputy presidents, senior and junior ministers, local authority officials, and even private citizens are routinely driving with blue lights and sirens activated, in clear violation of Zimbabwean laws and regulations. The use of emergency vehicles and their associated equipment is strictly regulated in Zimbabwe and is intended solely for genuine, life-threatening situations that require rapid response. It is unacceptable for government officials and others to exploit these privileges for their own convenience or to bypass normal traffic rules and procedures.
“This flagrant disregard for the law sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the credibility of the government and its institutions. It also puts the safety of the general public at risk, as other drivers may be caught off guard or feel compelled to yield the right-of-way to these unauthorized “emergency” vehicles.
“I strongly urge your office to investigate this issue thoroughly and take swift, decisive action to address it. All individuals, regardless of their position or status, must be held accountable to the same laws and regulations. Appropriate disciplinary measures should be taken against any offenders, and clear guidelines and enforcement mechanisms should be put in place to prevent such abuses from occurring in the future,” Engineer Mutisi had argued.
In response, ZRP’s Commissioner Paul Nyathi, Chief Staff Officer (Press and Public Relations) to the Commissioner-General of Police, notified the public that there is no law or provision which allows the Zimbabwe Republic Police to offer or provide motorised escorts for various requests such as weddings, church gatherings, birthday parties or other private functions.
In the same vein, he said the public is accordingly informed that the law does not allow the use of any private or personal motorcade of any form on the country’s roads whether with beacon lights or sounding any form of siren.
“The law will take its course without fear or favour for those found on the wrong side of the law. Motorists are also implored to observe the movements of the state motorcade whenever escort vehicles are coming as Police control traffic on the roads. The Zimbabwe Republic Police reminds motorists that according to Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015 Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations the use of blue lights or beacons is the preserve of the Zimbabwe Republic Police only.
“In this regard, any motorist found with a vehicle fitted with blue lights or beacons will be dealt with in line with the country’s laws. In the same vein, no private or company vehicle should be fitted with or painted in police colours. The public is urged to assist in the maintenance of law and order by strictly observing this requirement,” Commissioner Nyathi said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has warned the public against driving vehicles with no registration plates. In terms of Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act Chapter 13:13 no vehicle, whether private or company-owned, should be driven on the country’s roads with no number plates. The Zimbabwe Republic Police will thus impound any vehicle moving on the roads with no plates. Government vehicles are not excluded from the number plates requirement.
The Commissioner-General of Police has directed Officer Commanding Police, Provinces, and Districts to ensure that arrests are effected on kombi operators, their crews, and touts who are openly moving with vehicles whilst the touts are precariously hanging on the back (kurembera). The law will take its course without fear or favour. Above all, motorists are Implored to comply with Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015 Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations and fit proper and stipulated headlights on vehicles.
In this regard, any vehicle driven on the roads while fitted with ballad lights or bar lights in clear contravention of the country’s laws and road safety requirements will be impounded and the owner or driver prosecuted after arrest.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges motorists to observe road rules and regulations to safeguard lives on the roads and the general maintenance of law and order in the country.