Taxi drivers protest Police brutality

 Taxi drivers in Solwezi district yesterday protested against the Zambia police traffic section alleging that they were brutal with the manner they handled motorists.

The taxi drivers marched on the Independence Avenue to the district commissioner’s office and demanded to be addressed by the acting district commissioner.

But Solwezi Central police station officer in charge assistant superintendent Godfrey Mubita has described the protest by the taxi drivers against traffic officers as unfortunate.

The drivers complained they were being unfairly treated by traffic police officers when it comes to traffic offences.

They said the police officers have a tendency of chasing after the drivers each time they (taxi drivers) committed an offence.

“We are not against their operations, we know it’s their duty to bring sanity on the road but what we are against is unfair treatment against us,” one of the taxi drivers complained.

They told the acting district commissioner that many taxi drivers could not manage to operate public service vehicles which bore red number plates due to the cost attached to it.

“The contention here is that we should be operating vehicles with red number plates, which is correct because it is law, but we cannot afford because it is too costly for us,” another taxi driver said.

But acting Solwezi district commissioner Chipawa Chipawa advised the drivers not to take the law in their hands but always find a better way of addressing their grievances.

Mr Chipawa said his office was ready to help drivers with a challenge to acquire public service driver’s licences.

‘’Those that have difficulties in acquiring licences we can engage the Road and Traffic Safety Agency (RTSA) to make sure that you acquire licences. I know we have challenges of unemployment and what you do is what brings food on the table, so we will find means and ways of addressing this issue permanently,” Mr Chipawa said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mubita appealed to the taxi drivers to always observe traffic rules to avoid being inconvenienced by traffic officers.