Following various complaints from the public that some traffic police officers were harassing motorists, the department has set up an independent investigative department to thoroughly investigate the alleged injustices.
“The public has been complaining that some traffic constables harass them. We now have an independent department that will investigate any claim about traffic police harassment,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, John Bosco Kabera, the head of traffic police revealed.
Kabera said that between four to five cases of harassment by traffic police are received every week.
He said after various radio and TV awareness campaigns, the public has started filing their complaints to traffic police.
According to Kabera, any member of the public who wants to file a complaint has to put it in writing, but there are some incidences where they call and the investigative team goes down to the scene and interrogates both parties.
“There is a case where one driver complained that a traffic policeman lied that he had violated traffic lights. There is no way you can justify that, unless we have a control room where we monitor all cars manoeuvring traffic lights,” Kabera explained.
“Rwandans have adopted a bad culture of feeling that they have relatives or friends somewhere who will bail them out. They simply don’t care about abiding with the traffic code. That would mean that those without people in institutions will never get services, which is injustice.”
Last year traffic police emerged top among the institutions that were most corrupt named in the Ombudsman’s report
“Mechanisms are in place and we want to make corruption history in traffic police,” Kabera said.
“You know, we don’t have options like prison sentences to whoever breaches traffic laws. We only issue fines. That is why many drivers resort to attempting to bribe the traffic police constables they come across,” Kabera added.