Several people I know personally have been accused of driving through amber traffic lights even when they vow and declare that the light was green. Several are in the middle of the road awaiting oncoming traffic and are accused of going through amber lights.
The police then threaten the drivers with having their cars impounded, being taken to the Central Police Station or being taken to court to get their vehicle back. Spot fines are demanded. In many cases the drivers are totally innocent of any wrong doing but are accused and threatened.
At one set of lights along the Lomagundi Road the police are actually stationed at a site where it is impossible to have clear sight of whether or not the lights are actually green,amber or red. What does the law actually state with regard to amber lights? The police are using any flimsy excuse to render a motorist liable to pay a fine. This is occurring more and more frequently and the police are becoming more and more threatening.
My husband was fined for speeding near Ngundu Halt on the Beit Bridge Road and when we pointed out that many of the 60km, 80km and 100km speed signs were missing the police officer agreed with us. She went on to say that they did not care about signs or road markings but only about the money. This is not the first time we have had this type of experience.
At another point near Colcom in Harare, where there are absolutely no road markings indicating a give way or stop and there are no road signs either, the police repeatedly fine drivers for not stopping. I challenged an officer one day on whether he would have a leg to stand on in court. He blithely told me that there hadn’t been any signs there for years.
We the public would really appreciate a “road watch” where motorists are able to report corrupt and bad policing at road blocks. Police should supply their name and rank if asked. We should also have a toll watch where the public can report potholes on toll roads such as the dangerous potholes appearing on the Harare side of the Banket/Harare road.
All these things need to be exposed.
With the exception of a few who try so hard to discharge their duties diligently, the police’s conduct leaves a lot to be desired.
What on earth are the Home Affairs co-ministers and the commissioner-general doing?
We need newspapers like yours and realise the terrible risks you take daily to keep Zimbabweans informed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.