PATRIOTS for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo says all motorists who have been arbitrarily charged by the Road Transport and Safety Agency’s automated speed cameras should not make any payments.
Tembo yesterday said RTSA’s automated speed cameras in their current manner and form, constituted a harassment of the citizenry by the government.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) we have received numerous complaints from members of the public regarding the decision by government to impose arbitrary speeding tickets on citizens using automated speed cameras on some roads in Lusaka. As Patriots for Economic Progress, and on the basis of the foregoing, we hereby wish to advise all motorists who have been arbitrarily charged by these so-called automated speed cameras, not to make any payments for these arbitrary speed tickets, but instead contact the PeP Secretariat and furnish us with the particulars of the alleged speeding offence,” Tembo stated in a press statement. “The main basis of the complaints is that there is inadequate signage on the respective roads, to outline the gazetted speed zones. Additionally, in the rare instance that such signage of speed zones exists, it is unreasonable and impractical to comply with. A case in point is the speed zoning along Kafue road around Mimosa area where motor vehicles are expected to decelerate from 80 km/h (kilometres per hour) to 40km/h within a space of 100 meters! It is impractical that motor vehicles can make such rapid deceleration within a short distance, without the risk of causing serious road traffic accidents.”
Tembo stated that his party’s intention was to gather a minimum of 1,000 complaints from members of the public on the matter, after which PeP will undertake detailed investigations of each complaint.
He stated that the party would later engage the Ministry of Transport over RTSA’s speed fines.
“The purpose of our envisaged engagement with the Ministry of Transport on this matter will be for the government to first undertake certain reforms on our roads before automated speeding cameras can be continued, which reforms must include proper and adequate speed zoning and road signage. As Patriots for Economic Progress, if our envisaged engagement with the government on this matter does not bear fruits, we shall have no option but to drag the government to Court, on behalf of the citizens of this republic,” stated Tembo. “It is on this basis that we wish to appeal to all motorists not to make any payment towards automated speed camera tickets that they may have received, until PeP resolves this matter with the government. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we want to make it unequivocally clear that we are not necessarily opposed to the concept of speed cameras per se, but rather to the arbitrary manner in which this concept is being implemented in Zambia, which constitutes a harassment of our citizens.”
RTSA has placed speed cameras on vantage places in Lusaka without warning motorists to be cautious of their speed.
The cameras have been placed: on Airport road between the Airport and Meanwood Ndeke turn-off; Meanwood Turn-off and ZAF junction, near Delta Auto where motorists are to drive at 60 kilometres per hour.
Other Cameras are between Hitachi and MA Fothers, Firehorn and Gardenia direction west, between Firehorn and Gardenia direction east; Market Street and Mporokoso Road East; Gardenia and Airport Road circle; and near Stalilo Shopping Centre west direction.
Others are Near Landrover (west direction); between Puma Filling Station and Cresta Golf View Hotel (west direction); Near Marshlands Bus Stop; between Mwamba and Parliament Road.
On Mumbwa road, the cameras are between Konzani Gardens and Ebru factory; Near White House bus station; between YRoad Bus Station and White House bus station.
On Ring Road (Tokyo Way) the cameras are between Chuswe Road and Mary Mwango Police Station and between Chuswe road and Kasama Road.
On Kafue road, the cameras are at Orca Deco Home Furniture; near Southern Cross Motors and near Aliboats.
The speed limit on all these sections is 60 kilometres per hour.
Meanwhile, Tembo stated that Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda’s call on Zambians to respond to its tender adverts is meant for cosmetic purposes.
He stated that it was a well-established fact that ZRA prefers foreign companies over local Zambian companies in its procurement decisions.
He challenged the ZRA to disclose to the nation the proportion of its procurement expenditure in the past three years that was given to local Zambian companies and foreign companies.
“According to our estimates, out of the total procurement expenditure by ZRA in the past 3 years, an average of 83 per cent was spent on foreign companies while only about 17 per cent was spent on local Zambian companies. It is also worth noting that most of the business which ZRA gives to foreign companies, especially high value IT related tenders, can be ably done by local Zambian companies who spiritedly submit tenders but are sidelined by ZRA in their procurement decisions,” Tembo stated.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we see it as a mockery to the Zambian people that today the ZRA Commissioner General can call on Zambian companies to bid for tenders at ZRA, when his organisation has a well documented practice of sidelining local Zambian companies in most high value tenders.”
Tembo stated that it was equally regrettable that an organisation that thrives on collecting tax revenue from the citizenry could fail to promote local citizen companies by extending business opportunities to them, so that they could in turn pay more tax to the authority.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we wish to challenge not only the Zambia Revenue Authority, but all other government parastatals and agencies, to come up with a percentage quota of procurement expenditure that will be reserved for local citizen companies every financial year. Such a percentage quota will contribute to citizens’ economic empowerment, so that as citizens of this Republic, we are not reduced to economic spectators as foreigners come to our country and win all high value government related contracts, while we wallow in abject poverty with only our NRCs in our hands,” stated Tembo.