Three traffic police officers were treated as outpatients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre on Monday after a motorist hit them while on duty.
South West Police Region spokesperson Ramsey Mushani confirmed the incident that happened at Bestobel on the Masauko Chipembere Highway in the city.
He identified the officers as Ojesi Mtambo, McLord Dzinga and Yohane Douglas.
Mushani said police have opened a criminal case against the motorist Clifford-Henry Khomba.
“The report now shows that four officers were involved and the motorist will answer charges of acts intending to cause grievous harm,” he said.
According to a witness James Muka, the misunderstanding arose when a speed trap police officer stopped Khomba and fined him for exceeding highway speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour.
Said Muka: “But Khomba pleaded with the officers that he had inadequate funds to pay. This compelled the police officers to confiscate his driving licence which did not please the motorist. He warned that he would hit them. About four minutes later, he drove his car towards the police camera, hitting the officers and damaging the speed trap camera.”
In a separate interview, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital director Samson Mndolo said the three officers were treated as outpatients as they did not sustain severe injuries.
But when we visited the hospital at around 3.30pm, Khomba was still receiving treatment following the impact.
Similar incidents also happened in February in Mangochi and last year in Blantyre. In Mangochi, a motorist hit a female traffic police officer who died on the spot while in Blantyre a motorist deliberately hit and killed a traffic officer.
Commenting on the matter, National Police deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza said such incidents are on the rise because some motorists have negative attitudes towards traffic police officers.
“Whoever is not satisfied with charges levelled against them, there is always room for challenging that by lodging a complaint or taking the matter to court,” he said.