SUN REPORTER writes
OPERATIONS of the ‘controversial’ traffic speed cameras will still continue and a decision regarding the programme would only be made once the corruption allegations about the system have been proved, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has said.
RTSA public relations officer, Frederick Mubanga, told the Sun in a telephone interview yesterday that there was no need to suspend the programme now because corruption allegations about the system were yet to be proven.
“Why should it be suspended? Let’s wait until the corruption investigation process is concluded,” said Mr Mubanga.
But according to a Lusaka-based lawyer who did not want named, the speed cameras could still continue to operate in public interest but that any private contractors implicated in the corruption allegation involving the programme should not be allowed to accrue any benefits from it until they were cleared.
The lawyer said there was nothing wrong for the programme to continue because it was generating public resources but private operators connected to its alleged corrupt procurement, installation and operation, should not be allowed to benefit from the system until the allegations had been cleared.
The Drug Enforcement Commission 9DEC) recently arrested RTSA chief executive officer Mr Zindaba Soko and the board chairman for Intelligent Mobility Solution (IMS), Mr Walid El Nahas, in connection with the supply, installation and operations of speed cameras.
IMS is the company that was awarded the public tender to supply and install the traffic speed cameras.
Early in June, DEC Commissioner Alita Mbahwe announced that Mr Soko had been questioned and had his house searched over money laundering allegations relating to the controversial speed cameras programme.
The DEC action followed allegations that the RTSA boss reportedly received K100, 000 into his Stanbic bank account which money investigators suspected to have been gratification to award the speed cameras tender to IMS.
On July 9,Mr Soko requested Transport and Communication Minister, Brian Mushimba, to put him on leave to facilitate smooth investigations into his money laundering allegations.