LUSAKA — The Zambian government on Tuesday suspended the collection of fines from citizens flouting COVID-19 preventive guidelines due to reports of corruption among police officers enforcing the measures.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has since directed police officers to stop collecting the 750 Zambian Kwacha fine imposed on people flouting the preventive guidelines. He told reporters during a press briefing that no police officer was now allowed to arrest or collect fines from people flouting COVID-19 preventive measures especially those who were not wearing face masks. He said the police will now be only required to sensitize people violating the guidelines as part of efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic.
According to him, it was regrettable that some officers have been collecting admission of guilt fines from members of the public not wearing face masks, adding that police commissioners in all the country’s 10 provinces have since been directed to ensure that the enforcement was done within the law. He said adhering to COVID-19 preventive guidelines should be a personal responsibility and that people should not be waiting for the police to enforce the measures.
Meanwhile, Kakoma Kanganja, Inspector-General of the Zambia Police also confirmed that the police command has with immediate effect suspended the arrest and collection of fines from people disregarding the preventive guidelines.He told reporters during another press briefing that it has come to his attention that some officers deployed on the streets to enforce the rules have been abusing the provision.