Armed police this morning dispersed scores of irate minibus drivers and conductors who blocked the road leading to Limbe Market with burning tyres.
The passenger vehicle operators were protesting against delays by traffic police officers to release their impounded vehicles.
As part of their ongoing exercise, traffic police from the Southern Region Headquarters on Wednesday impounded over 80 minibuses in Blantyre and Limbe for contravening various road traffic laws including overloading.
The development comes barely three weeks after police also seized 150 other minibuses on various routes in the city in an attempt to curb the misconduct that is rampant among minibus operators.
Some angry drivers and conductors claimed they resorted to burning tyres and block the road to express their frustration and anger over police’s reluctance to release their vehicles in time.
But Southern Region Police spokesperson James Kadadzera dispelled the operators’ claims, arguing they were not sincere with their reaction as the police were only following procedures before releasing the vehicles which included paying fines.
The impounded vehicles breached Section 83 of the Road Traffic Act which stipulates that no motor vehicle shall operate on a public road unless it has a valid road service permit.
Meanwhile, police in Blantyre have arrested 136 people in a weeping exercise conducted Wednesday night.
Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Elizabeth Divala said 26 out of the 136 are women.
Divala said the sweeping exercise is one of the many strategies the station has put in place to ensure a crime free festive period.
The people arrested, being kept at Blantyre Police Station’s four sub-stations and six police units, will answer a charge of rogue and vagabond.