I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

~George Bernard Shaw

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who Should be on Board- Fighting Traffic Corruption

There are a number of stakeholders that can be associated with the problem of police traffic corruption as well as with the target group. The identification and selection of the stakeholder below has been based on the direct impact the stakeholder has on the problem and on the target community of motorists.

i) Public Transport Operators: These are the owners of the buses or taxis and are represented by the Public Transporters Association (PTA). Public transport vehicles in Zambia are owned and operated by individuals or businesses. This association has mainly been seen as one that coordinates activities of the industry from the private sector point of view. The association, together with the line government ministry, is involved in setting up bus fares on various routes, as well as resolving problems that may arise in the industry. Further operators or their representatives are often called upon by traffic police officers to resolve, pay the fines or coerced into paying bribes when their driver has been arrested for contravening traffic regulations. The Association is therefore cardinal in the fight against traffic corruption.
ii) Drivers: The drivers are the main contact between the traffic officers and the public transport operators. This is the group that is often in confrontation with the traffic officers because of constantly breaking the traffic regulations. While drivers are seen to be adversaries to traffic officers because of their frequent attempts to elude the traffic police when they contravene traffic regulations, their behaviour justifies police action against them and in the process they do not even hesitate to offer or give bribes demanded by the traffic officers.

iii) The Traffic Police Officers and the Zambia Police Service Command: The traffic police officers are the main culprits of traffic corruption. They demand bribes from motorists at any opportunity or create situations that put motorists in a desperate position to offer a bribe. Law enforcement is so weak. The law is used to defraud the motorists. The is known by Zambia Police Service Command but it appears the situation is being condoned for some reasons as there are no vigorous efforts to address the problem from within. The establishment of an Integrity Committee in the police service therefore provides an opportunity to institutionalise corruption prevention mechanisms.
iv) The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA): This is the institution that is entrusted with the responsibility to regulate the road transport sector and thus enforce traffic. It regulates the operations of the public transport system and any other motor vehicle through licensing. In conjunction with the traffic police section, the Agency enforces the traffic laws to ensure safety on roads. Most traffic police officers are seconded to the agency for operational expediency. The existence of traffic corruption cannot guarantee safe raods.
v) Commuters: The travelling public are represented by an association for the Commuters which ensures that public transport operator  do not take advantage of commuters by setting fares that are economically unrealistic and that passenger rights are upheld. It has been said that commuters occasionally encourage bus drivers to quickly bribe traffic police officers so that they are not delayed.
vi) The Anti-Corruption Commission and The Government: It is the role of the Anti-Corruption Commission on behalf of the Government to address corruption in its various forms in order to create an environment conducive for development in the Country. Government is therefore expected to provide operational funding to the ACC for its various anti-corruption activities. The ACC is therefore interested in ensuring that programs aimed at tackling the systemic corruption in the country are designed and implemented, with the support of Government and all stakeholders, and traffic corruption is one such vice in a sector that needs to be curtailed.
vii) Civil Society and Non Governmental Organisations: Most NGOs or CSOs often have advocacy and campaign programs on governance or transparency and accountability. Transparency International (Z), the Integrity Foundation, and the National Movement Against Corruption, and many other such civil society organisations are key partners in the fight against corruption in Zambia. They speak louder.
T   viii) Media: The role of the media cannot be over emphasises. The media through investigative journalism brings out the wrongs in society and also informs the public on measures put in place in fighting corruption. The media in Zambia has been known to have effectively played its watchdog role. 
Th ivx) Public: By taking up the challenge of whistle-blowing, the public can made a huge difference in fighting corruption through the report they make to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your stakeholder analysis - it is very detailed. It reminded me of an incident I experienced in India. The tourist police in India, Goa, pulled over many tourists on motorbikes at night and tried to get them to pay for not having an Indian drivers license. They were so heavily in debt for the bribe that they had to pay to get the job in the first place. Corruption in any system is very difficult to address especially when it occurs in the context of poverty. We refused to pay and they let us go - but others are not so lucky.