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Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo says any vehicle number plate that is not legally registered with the Road Transport and Safety Agency is not allowed on Zambian roads, including political plates.
And Katongo said the Police will not issue a statement on whether or not a docket of investigation has been opened against UPP leader Saviour Chishimba after he was reported by PF youths for ‘defaming’ President Edgar Lungu.
Police last week banned the use of unregistered and foreign registered motor vehicle number plates on Zambian roads, with exception to documented transiting cars, saying the move would help curb increasing crime levels.
Asked whether political or party numbered vehicles such as those brandishing the ruling party’s “ECL2021” or “PF” number plates were excluded from the ban, Mwaata said any vehicle that was not legally registered by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) remained banned.
“Any vehicle that has not been registered by RTSA has been banned. We are not looking at pointing at this one or that one, that is a general statement. We are looking at legal registration here, so if it’s not registered by RTSA, any vehicle here that falls outside that category is banned,” Mwaata said.
And when asked to confirm if police had opened a docket against Chishimba, Mwaata said she would not comment.
“We are not commenting on that one now, you should give us time to do our work,” said Mwaata.
Meanwhile, RTSA Head of Public Relations Fred Mubanga said members of the public who know individuals using fake or illegal number plates, must report such the Agency.
“There are some members of the public who are abusing this vanity provision. These number plates are so common especially during election period. If you can remember during the campaign period, the Road Transport and Safety Agency together with the Electoral Commission of Zambia held a consultative meeting with various political parties on the need to follow traffic rules, including the issues of affixing proper registration marks on the vehicles. We stated categorically stated that it is not allowed under the Road Traffic Act to use that kind of number plates when you have not applied for vanity,” said Mubanga.
“As RTSA we have always advised members of the public that if you want to use special number plates, please apply for vanity and we are going to give it to you, it now costs K8,000. We have had incidences where some vehicles have been impounded before for using such kind of number plates. Off course the RTSA cannot be everyone at any given point, so those members of public that have information that someone is using a special number plate without applying for vanity, they are free to report such cases to RTSA and we are going to act.”
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About Joseph Mwenda
Joseph Mwenda is a Zambian journalist experienced in political news writing, photography and video editing.
Email: joseph [at] diggers [dot] news
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About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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