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Kombi crews bemoan police harassment and corruption
Moses Chibaya, Community Radio Harare (CORAH)
February 01, 2013
(kombi) and taxi drivers in Harare have bemoaned harassment and
corruption from police officers whom they also accuse of smashing
kombi/taxi windscreens. Several kombi crews told Talking Harare
this week that a number of their vehicles operating in the city
centre have had their windscreens shattered especially when they
are found loading passengers at un-designated points.
police officers are doing is very wrong, when they find you picking
up passengers at un-designated points they simply shatter the vehicle
windscreen instead of asking us to pay fines. At the end of the
day the kombi/taxi owner ends up deducting money from the driver's
salary to repair windscreens which cost nearly US$100," said
a driver who identified himself as William and operates between
the city centre and Msasa.
we try to run away from the police who often ask for bribes and
when we try to escape, they always smash the windscreen. The bribes
they ask for are too high when compared to the US$10 we are supposed
to pay as fines. They at times demand as much as US$40 which is
almost the same as our daily takings and so we end up running away,"
said kombi driver Tobias Hamutendi who added that government must
urgently intervene to stop corruption.
who operates from Charge Office bus terminus said he has now resorted
to picking up passengers at designated places but traffic police
officers always follow them before accusing them of flouting other
if we park at the so-called designated areas, the police always
come after us and accuse us of flouting minor traffic laws like
not having litter bins in public vehicles and we end up trying to
escape as a way of avoiding to pay bribes. This again presents them
with an opportunity to smash our windscreens," bemoaned Mudavanhu.
Traffic Police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza
could not comment saying the issue is sensitive, police's heavy-handedness
when dealing with members of the public and their corrupt practices
have often been condemned by human rights activists and government
Even the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) admitted corruption is rife in the force adding
it arrested 123 corrupt officers last year and discharged more than
30 as it moves to clean its image tainted by years of unrestrained
Even President Robert Mugabe took exception to ZRP's growing dubious
distinction late last year urging the law enforcement agents to
mapurisa, mapurisa! We want you to be straightforward people. You
are representatives not only of Government, but of the people as
a whole," Mugabe said at a Zanu PF conference.
A report by
Trust of Southern Africa (ACTSA) last year also said corruption
by the police was worsening. The report, titled Stealing
from the State and Impoverishing the Nation: Zimbabwean Traffic
Police Officers Pocketing Huge Sums of Money through Bribes at Checkpoints,
said "the sin of corruption is now deeply rooted to such an
extent that the culprits are demanding bribes publicly as if it
is normal to do so."
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