Police boss Matanga bans hand-held police spikes, warns officers

HARARE – Police officers found with hand-held tyre-deflating spikes will be arrested and prosecuted, police commissioner general Godwin Matanga warned on Friday.

The spikes, often carried by police officers at roadblocks, are blamed for causing serious accidents leading to injury and death.

In a statement, police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the police top brass had noted the public outcry over the spikes, including from Members of Parliament.

“The commissioner general of police has with immediate effect banned the use of hand-held spikes by any police officers whilst performing traffic enforcement duties throughout the country,” Nyathi said.

“Any police officer who will defy this directive will be arrested and face both criminal and stern disciplinary action. No police officer will be allowed to move around whilst openly holding or carrying spikes under the guise of traffic enforcements.”

The ban on held hand spikes follows a recent tragic accident in Mutare that killed four people and injured eight others after a police officer allegedly threw spikes at a pirate taxi.

Nyathi said police would continue to use standard approved spikes which are often deployed at roadblocks to stop motorists driving around the police position.

“The ZRP will only stick to the use of standard and approved spikes as the norm where these are strategically used at conventional roadblocks and checkpoints,” Nyathi explained.

“The spikes are laid down on the ground with certified specification to assist police officers to control motorists who will try to evade roadblocks by driving through the roadblocks or sideways and in the process pose a danger to other motorists, the general public and police officers.

“The police also appeal to drivers to stop whenever directed to do so by police officers on the roads. We have observed that in major cities such as Harare and Bulawayo some kombis and pirate taxis, especially those with no number plates do not stop at police roadblocks or police checkpoints.”

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