The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has refuted media reports alleging that staff assigned on road traffic patrols receive unjustified allowances.
RTSA Principal Publicity Officer Mercy Mwila said the allowances referred to are in fact subsistence allowances to help staff meet their daily requirements while out of station on highway patrols.
This is because the officers are required to spend nights and days away from home.
In a statement to ZANIS, Mrs. Mwila disclosed that RTSA staff only receive a subsistence allowance of KR500 per night meant for meals, accommodation, and mobility when out of town, adding that the amount is below the normal government night allowance.
She explained that in 2012, RTSA in partnership with the Zambia Police, and the Road Development Agency (RDA) launched a National Road Traffic Enforcement Programme funded by the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) which was meant to address the unprecedented high levels of road traffic accidents which killed more than 1,600 people in 2011.
Mrs. Mwila further explained that in an effort to address this scourge through road safety sensitization and intensifying traffic patrol, human and financial resource was needed, prompting all the partner institutions to put their resources together to meet the desired objectives.
She observed that with over 40 000 kilo meters of road to be covered, the partnership involved all road sector agencies and the Zambia Police team being given roles and tasks while managing the roads.
Mrs. Mwila said it is due to the requirement to travel to districts while collaborating with Police Officers in respective Provinces that a subsistence allowance of KR500 per night was recommended to contribute towards staff welfare in accommodation and meals.
She added that the allowance is not a stipend to appreciate staff involvement despite their participation in enforcement after working hours on a daily basis.
Ms. Mwila disclosed that the Agency uses a schedule to alternate staff involvement which also contributes to reducing familiarity with motorists on public roads.
She urged the public to feel free to report any corruption activities involving traffic officers saying the Agency will ensure it is promptly stopped.