By STEVEN ZANDE –
THE pilot project to phase out cash payments on client driven services offered by police is working smoothly and will soon be rolled out to the rest of the country, police spokesperson Esther Katongo has said.
Meanwhile, police has cautioned residents against moving alone in the night to reduce chances of being attacked by suspected ritual killers.
In November last year the Zambia Police Service announced it was working to phase out cash payment on client driven services offered by police, including finger print taking, fire arm certification, medical report issuance, indicating the monies would have to be paid through the bank
Ms Katongo said the service was currently sensitising officers in different parts of the country in readiness for full roll out of the project which was expected to commence soon.
“We have had a few challenges in that some members of the public have been hesitant to respond to the new system. But this is normal whenever you try to introduce a new way of doing things,” she said.
Among stations where the pilot project was implemented include Manda Hill Police Post, Central Police and Woodlands Police Station.
Ms Katongo said in an interview recently that in some cases the system was running concurrently with cash payments until such a time that clients fully embraced the new system.
Impoundable offences like fines for road traffic crimes were being paid for through the bank but the service was working on modalities to include non-impoundable offences in bank payments.
She said the positive performance of the pilot project indicated that cashless transactions would be achieved in the service.
Ms Katongo expressed confidence that the detected challenges would be resolved soon to facilitate full roll out of the programme.
This was expected to enhance accountability among police officers and help reduce the trend of delayed banking of collected monies.
Meanwhile, Ms Katongo has urged residents to avoid moving alone at night because this gave an opportunity to suspected ritual killers to pounce on unsuspecting public members.
“These people seem to target people who move alone at night. And if one is drunk they become an easy target,” she said.
Ms Katongo urged Lusaka residents to be security conscious, saying police had deployed more officers to intensify patrols in high risk areas.
Investigations into the suspected the ritual murder which was recorded in Lusaka’s Matero Township last week were ongoing.