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Police boss orders removal of roadblocks on highways

By Cyrus Ombati | June 19th 2019

Officers man a roadblock: The Inspector-General has ordered the removal of major roadblocks and directed only Regional and Formation Commanders will determine where they are mounted. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

Police boss Hilary Mutyambai has ordered the removal of traffic checkpoints and roadblocks on major highways in the country.

The checkpoints and roadblocks on highways shall now only be mounted with the express authority of Regional/Formation Commanders and must be justified and rationalised.

Mutyambai issued the directive and revealed commanders shall be held accountable for any misconduct by the traffic officers, which goes unpunished under their commands.

“This streamlining is already on course as can be confirmed by the number of checks currently in place from Mombasa to Malaba. We call upon all Kenyans of goodwill to support us by obeying the law and avoid in corrupt activities on our roads,” he said.

Mutyambai said public safety on the roads remains one of his top objectives.

“This calls for both parties not only to desist from corrupt activities on the road but also to stand against such by reporting them to relevant authorities,” he said.

The move means traffic police who will be on the highways will be under the express order of the commanders in the region with a justification.

Already some commanders have ordered that the roadblocks be removed.

“For those within township ensure a free flow of vehicles but for those not within town keep off the road and only wait to attend to accident occurrences which should be investigated immediately as we wait for further directions from the high authority,” read an order from one of the commanders.

When he came to office, Mutyambai had indicated he will streamline traffic operations in the country.

This was part of his efforts to tame corruption. There have been complaints that traffic officers, especially on the highways, are the most corrupt.

All Officers Commanding Station (OCS) had also been ordered to be in charge of the enforcement of the Michuki rules.

The officers were directed to take charge of the operations across the country to ensure compliance.

Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police Edward Mbugua issued a directive to all police officers indicating traffic operations had been devolved to the station level for effective operations.

“The OCS should take charge of all personnel as per the station nominal roll and deploy all the officers in rotation for each and every officer to acquaint himself or herself with police work,” said part of the directive.

Six independent teams were formed to support the county police commanders in effecting the regulations.

A multi-agency team that had been formed to oversee operations on the roads is still in operation.

The team comprising National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the National Police Service and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) have jointly been tasked with restoring sanity to the public transport sector through enforcement of a raft of already existing, but largely ignored laws.

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