I WAS appalled to read about suspects in a US$300 000 theft who were freed on the flimsy grounds that the state could not afford to hire translators to do the French and Swahili translations.
That is a lame excuse not worthy of coming from our courts. From the facts presented in the story, it is apparent that the suspects have a prima facie case and for them to go scot-free just like that sets a dangerous precedent. This is a travesty of justice which may well come to characterise our judicial system if the powers-that-be do not move in swiftly to nip this corruption cancer in the bud.
Unfortunately, the case is just a tip of the iceberg. The deterioration of other government services as a result of the economic challenges facing the nation resulted in the attendant privatisation of government services by government employees for their private benefit, the justice system included.
TelOne technicians were demanding bribes from TelOne customers to fix their phones.
Zesa technicians were also demanding hefty bribes to attend to faults which they are supposed to do anyway.
Teachers were using school facilities to conduct private lessons, officers at the passport office were making a killing selling passports, ETDs, death certificates, and citizenship to foreigners, while law enforcement agents instead of enforcing the law were now offering their services to the highest bidder, mostly the criminals who having committed a crime wanted to buy their freedom.
Police officers have now taken to extorting money from criminals and other transgressing businessmen and citizens.
As a result a lot of wronged citizens are frustrated to see criminals who would have committed crimes against them going scot-free having bribed the law enforcement agents to secure their freedom.
Now that there is an inclusive government whose major brief is to turn around the economy, the powers-that-be in the law enforcement agencies should stamp out the rot in their agencies to restore law and order in these law enforcement agents.
I appeal to police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Justice Permanent Secretary David Mangota to act decisively to ensure that our law enforcement agencies are not turned into permanent private cash cows for the benefit of the officers of state employed in these agencies.