Warning: I just want to relate details of an incident which occurred late last Wednesday evening outside Royal Harare Golf Club: just after midnight five vehicles containing adults and teenagers were leaving the premises after a birthday celebration at the club. The second vehicle contained only the driver, a teenager.
As he went to drive through the exit and turn left into Fifth Street he was suddenly stopped and accused at gunpoint of stopping in a no-stopping area. The two vehicles behind him saw what had transpired and both drivers (adults) went to see what was going on. They were both stopped at gunpoint and told that the proceedings had nothing to do with them so they were ordered to leave the area immediately, which they had no option but to do. The two vehicles behind them were also ordered to leave. These vehicles then regrouped about a kilometre further down the road expecting the problem to be resolved.
Shortly afterward, one of them received a call from the arrested teenager to say that they had asked for his driver’s licence, which, unfortunately he did not have with him. One of the parents then contacted his mother to tell her she was coming to collect the licence.
On returning to the scene the two ladies found there was no presence there so continued past the scene into Tongogara and eventually found the vehicle parked in the dark on the side of the road. ( it transpired that the teenager had been ordered tp drive to that point without turning on any lights and was further told not to turn on any interior lights, obviously to avoid being picked up by the cameras!!) Both ladies went to leave their car but one was ordered not to, so only the teenager’s mother was allowed to. She was bundled into the back of the car. Then the bargaining began with one of them asking how much money she had with her.
She said that as she is a staunch Christian she refuses to pay bribes. Their response was that they could easily keep her son until the payment was made. She replied that she didn’t have much so they rifled her handbag & removed $200. They were in constant contact with someone else on their phone who obviously agreed with the amount tendered so the mother and son were released.
Whilst all of this was going on, one of the fathers who was still sitting further up Fifth St. decided to just drive through to Tongagara. He was stopped at the club entrance and held at gunpoint until he agreed to pay a $300 bribe.
One wonders at how they had selected the only vehicle that was occupied by one person!! Could it be that
the club gate security guard is somehow involved in this selection and advises the others accordingly?
I hope everyone who sees this will pass it on to everyone else to avoid others unwittingly falling into the same trap.