Why is it necessary to have 14 police stops on the road from Harare to Bulawayo, or nine stops between Harare and Mutare? At almost all these stops there is one, two or three police officers pulling vehicles off the road randomly.
There are no police signs or barricades, and often at night there are no lights.
Apart from anything else, this is extremely dangerous and foolhardy.
A short time spent watching one of these stops reveals that virtually every commuter omnibus is waved off the road, the driver hands something to the policeman and then proceeds. No inspection of any paper work or the vehicles takes place. It is blatantly obvious what is happening here.
A night journey by road between any of the centres shows that as much as 50% of the vehicles have defective lights and on one occasion on Borrowdale road at 9.30pm a police pick up was loaded with people with no lights at all. What a joke ZRP has become. Not only is it obvious what is going on, but the roads are full of defective and dangerous vehicles. Clearly the ZRP is simply not doing its job.
Harare city has many policemen and women and some are clearly out of shape and can barely squeeze themselves into their uniforms.
The officers are often accusing drivers of going through amber traffic lights and other traffic infractions and then threaten them with ridiculous action like impounding vehicles, opening dockets and fingerprinting all in the hope of intimidating the drivers into parting with cash to make the problem go away.
Commuter omnibus drivers are some of the biggest culprits as they hand over money and proceed, and the police officers get away with it. If one takes a police officer to task over this and insists on a ticket which is one’s right, or asks the officer for his number rank and name, not only does the police officer refuse to do this but also becomes rude, abusive and more threatening. Most are quite clearly ignorant of the very laws that they are supposed to uphold.
What right for example do three constables from Highlands police station, one armed with a rifle, have to go out onto Glenara Avenue at 11.30pm and arbitrarily pull vehicles off the roads and demand IDs and intimidate, harass and generally abuse the public. They had no signs, no lights, no reflective clothing, no barricade and no ticket book.
These policemen are criminal; not only stealing from the public but also from the state and should be arrested, charged, jailed and kicked out of the police force. It is gross abuse of positions of authority and uniform. Senior policemen are doing nothing about this blatant corruption. Indeed one has to wonder if these activities are actually done with a blessing. Does anyone care?
The ZRP risks becoming a laughing stock and a national disgrace. Can the government really expect the public to respect these thieves in uniform.
We have sunk into a cesspool of bribery and corruption. A response from the honourable minister and Commissioner-General would be appreciated.
Sick and Tired,