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The Government has written to the police giving the force the green light to use spikes and guns to stop vehicles only in extreme cases of criminality, but ordered the implementation of an earlier instruction to reduce the number of roadblocks.

Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said yesterday that he wrote to Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri with the instructions following complaints received by his ministry from the public.

“The ministry received several reports concerning roadblocks which are said to be very close to each other,” he said. Dr Chombo said he told Dr Chihuri and his team to rationalise the roadblocks. “For example, in Epworth as a district, there should be at least two roadblocks that are at distances that are reasonable,”he said.

Dr Chombo said the use of spikes came into effect after several police officers were being ran over by kombi drivers trying to evade roadblocks. “However, what we are saying now is that these roadblocks (rationalised ones) should have spikes,” he said. “Both guns and spikes should only be used in extreme cases at these roadblocks and that is the advice given to the police by the Government.

Dr Chombo said they had noted that there were some places, especially in rural areas, where spikes were unnecessary.

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