POLICE IG ORDERED REMOVAL

Traders back reduction of Kwale roadblocks

Relief as many police used to hold vehicles and demandbribes to release them

In Summary

• This comes several months after Police IG Hilary Mutyambai ordered the removal of most checkpoints and traffic roadblocks on major highways.

• Traders' goods move faster, less perishes because of delays.

Traders in Kwale county have praised the government for reducing the number of roadblocks.

Several months ago police IG Hilary Mutyambai ordered the removal of checkpoints and traffic roadblocks on major highways countrywide.

Led by an industrialist Richard Osongo, they said they have been losing money because of unnecessary delays caused by police at roadblocks.

“Tonnes of perishable goods used to go to waste because traffic officers tended to hold vehicles for hours,” he said.

The traders said the removal has helped curb corruption since roadblocks delays were a major way to solicit bribes.

Thank God, the boda boda business is now something we can be proud of, unlike when police used to man the roads and all money used to go to them.
Boda boda riderJu ma Gatiwi

Boda boda operator Juma Gatiwi said traffic police officers demand bribes be released for non-offences.

He said the amount they could spend on bribes surpassed their daily profits.

Gatiwi said they are now enjoying the fruits of their hard labour as there is minimal disruption.

"Thank God, the boda boda business is now something we can be proud of, unlike when police used to man the roads and all money used to go to them," said Gatiwi.

Juma Mwakunyinyia said fares could now decline because most public transport operators were using bribes to police to hike fares.

“A major rush occurred when traffic units were in operation and the few vehicles that managed to be on roads doubled transport fees," Mwakunyinyia said.

Sometimes passengers were forced to alight and look for alternative transport when police conducted major crackdowns on roads.

REsidents urged the government to continue enforcing road safety to avert accidents.

Last month, Kwale county Commander Alexander Munyao ordered police to put roadblocks at Kombani and to man the Likoni-Lunga Lunga-Kwale town highway to maximise security.

(Edited by V. Graham)