THE Zambia Police Service must implement punitive measures to effectively deal with corruption because police transfers are only a short-term measure, says Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) chapter president Sampa Kalungu.

Commenting on the abrupt transfer of all division police officers in charge of traffic across the country to Force Headquarters, Kalungu observed that the move was only a short-term measure in dealing with corruption.

“…We note that transfers are nevertheless a very short-term measure to deal with matters such as corruption. Fundamental and robust programmes should be employed in the Zambia Police Service, such as strict monitoring, investigations, punitive measures as well as promotion of the values of integrity throughout the service. As part of our ongoing Memorandum of Understanding, which we signed with the Zambia Police Service in November, last year, we are committed to helping the service to entrench values of transparency, integrity and accountability, not just in the traffic section, but in all their operations. A corrupt-free police service is paramount if Zambia is to make strides in ensuring good governance as well as economic and social development,” Kalungu stated in response to a press query.

Kalungu, however, hoped that the transfers were made in the spirit of inculcating correct values in the officers to help to rebuild the tainted image of the traffic section.

“We are also alive to the fact that transfers can be remedial as a means of correcting faulty placements, but can also be used as a disciplinary measure for erring officers indulging in undesirable activities. We are aware as TI-Z that high corrupt-risk jobs such as traffic police may require regular transfers so as to avoid the entrenchment of corrupt behaviour among officers. There is no doubt that the traffic section is one of the most ill-perceived departments in the Zambia Police Service, and our hope is that the said transfers have been made in the spirit of inculcating correct values in the officers, helping to rebuild the tainted image of the traffic section, while also serving as a warning to the officers not engage in corrupt activities,” Kalungu stated.

“TI-Z has taken note of the transfers that have been effected in the traffic section of the Zambia Police Service by Inspector General of Police Mr. Kakoma Kanganja. Transfers can be made for various reasons, among them, remedial transfers because an individual or individuals are not performing satisfactorily in their present assignment, and they are taken somewhere where they would do better.”

He further hoped that police would implement more measures to deter corruption in the service and build integrity.

“It is our hope as TI-Z that the police can put more measures in place to deter corruption in the service and build integrity. We also would like to urge the police not to shy away from investigating the officers suspected to be in the habits of corruption and apply appropriate punitive actions against them,” stated Kalungu.

Kanganja removed all division police officers in charge of traffic and transferred them to Force Headquarters “awaiting further deployment,” according to sources within the service.

Information obtained by News Diggers! the officers who had been left without any substantive positions, were transferred to clean up the traffic police department following heightened concerns.