Ignore roadblocks set up by only two cops
on December 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Motorists should ignore roadblocks manned by less than three police officers
as they are illegal, a top cop has said.
Responding to questions from stakeholders in Bulawayo, the national Deputy
Officer Commanding Traffic, Assistant Commissioner Kenny Mthombeni, said
officers bent on corruption set up illegal roadblocks.
“When you see two officers at check points or a police officer trying to
enforce traffic regulations in a private vehicle, disobey their instructions
and report them to their commanding officer,” said Asst Comm Mthombeni.
He said corruption was rife in both the public and private sector, adding
that only a collective effort by stakeholders could put an end to it.
Asst Comm Mthombeni urged members of the public to supply police with
details of commuter omnibuses that allegedly flouted traffic regulations
because they were owned by police officers.
“We have heard of such vehicles. We have heard that they use undesignated
pick up points and some are without the necessary documents. Send
information to us about them and I assure you the Commissioner General
Augustine Chihuri will take measures and you will see the officers on the
street,” he said to applause from the stakeholders.
Asst Comm Mthombeni said police fines only went up to $20 and if any officer
asked for more, it would be extortion.
“Our fines are between $5 and $20. Anything above that would be done to
induce bribery. If anyone is caught doing that, we will need to refund the
motorist and the money will come from the officer’s salary,” he said.
The national Deputy Officer Commanding Traffic said it was wrong for police
to continue issuing a ticket for the same offence at different roadblocks on
a single trip.
“If you are ticketed the first time, at the next roadblock, you should be
stopped and taken to court. It is also police policy that when a vehicle is
stopped at a roadblock, officers inspect the vehicle and not the driver.
There is therefore no need for the driver to leave the vehicle and approach
the police. If this happens, corruption may be taking place,” said Asst Comm
He instructed the Bulawayo traffic department to remove all unregistered
vehicles from the road, as they were taking business away from registered
Asst Comm Mthombeni said police and the public should be guided by Exodus 23
Verse 8, which reads; “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the
clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right,”
Speaking at the same event, the deputy manager of the Vehicle Inspection
Depot (VID) in Bulawayo, Mr Exevier Dzimba, said about 75 percent of the
buses that have been impounded by his department in the city since 15
December, were driven by unlicensed drivers and most of them had no brakes.
He said the statistics showed the level of corruption at the VID and police
roadblocks. “To show that Zimbabwe is really dirty, after impounding the
vehicles, people from high up, including politicians start calling and
asking us to release the vehicles,” said Mr Dzimba.
Speaking after the event, Mr Dzimba said the VID always requested written
instructions from anyone making such a request and the people would back
down. The Bulawayo City Council’s head of traffic and security, Retired
Colonel Tobias Dube, said one out of three vehicles in the city had
outstanding traffic tickets.
He said the city practiced zero tolerance towards corruption and had stopped
officers from accepting fines that were not paid at the Revenue Hall.
The regional Traffic Safety Manager for the Southern Region, Miss Barbara
Mpofu said employers should ensure that their drivers had all the required
documents and their vehicles were fit for the road to avoid the need to pay
Other stakeholders, who attended the event included members of the public,
public transport associations, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and
senior police officers in the province. The Chronicle