End of road for corrupt traffic cops

Police investigators have been deployed countrywide to arrest corrupt officers, with some posing as ordinary commuters to monitor roadblocks. Officers who use excessive force such as unnecessarily detaining motorists on roadsides for long periods could also be apprehended and charged with criminal abuse of office.

The operation is part of a broad framework formulated by the ZRP to create a corruption-free force with worldclass policing standards.

The ZRP Internal Investigations Department is leading the charge, and has been holding regular briefings with Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri who has previously spoken strongly against corruption.

Although The Sunday Mail could not establish how many culprits had been netted to date, it is understood some officers have been disciplined for violating a prohibition against parking personal vehicles near roadblocks.

It is believed rogue officers at roadblocks usually hide corruption proceeds in their cars.

In an interview with this paper last Thursday, Police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said: “We have developed a new customer care curriculum partly as a response to the complaints we receive everyday over the problems members of the public encounter when dealing with some of our officers on the roads.

“As I speak, we are training our officers on modern customer care methods, especially how to handle motorists at roadblocks. When we developed this curriculum, we had gone around the country sourcing views from the motoring public.

“We were told of incidents where motorists were mistreated by officers, with some saying they were forced to park on the side of the road before being ignored for very long periods. We are now arresting those culprits and charging them with malperfomance, use of excessive power and criminal abuse of office, in some cases.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba
Snr Asst Comm Charamba

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said all senior officers had been directed to deal with corruption whenever it crops up in their departments, and failure to act would attract punitive action.

She said investigators would continue to conduct regular roadblock checks and pursue leads provided by the public.

“We now have a system where all complaints against police are filed in my office and I refer them to the Internal Investigations Department. And when the investigations are done, they can either recommend that the officer be arrested and charged or go for retraining.

“That department’s role is to investigate and redress all complaints against police. We have police who also operate undercover from different departments who conduct spot-checks at roadblocks; this is being done to ascertain whether police officers are engaging in corruption or whether they are performing their duties properly.”

She went on, “All police commanders have been ordered to clamp down on corruption within their ranks … We have arrested some officers who were hiding their vehicles at police stations or close to where they were manning roadblocks after setting up surveillance teams.

“What we need is information from members of the public whenever they identify any anomalies, and such information is always acted upon. There is no way police will sit on such information – an officer who fails to act will be arrested regardless of rank.

“People have the right, whenever they feel they have been wronged by a police officer, to call on this Harare telephone number 703631 or go to the nearest police station to report. They can also visit our revamped website which has contact details of all the senior officers.”

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  • Marufu Chihwandire

    Ko zvimota zvemapurisa zviri kupaireta all over the country. They have no licences, the drivers are unlicensed, the vehicles are not roadworthy but zvimota izvozvi hazvisungwi.

  • BVUNZAWABAYA

    why are you taking a stance on corruption now when it has been raging on for the past 8 years. nekuti wakuru wacho waguta manje and have made life savings from the poor people. I would like the government to take all information on what each policeman owns in terms of property and including cars and houses and compare it to their monthly earnings. they must be interrogated to where they got the money to buy those properties. I will give you an example of Mabelreigh police station. During the period of 2009- 2010 there was not so many cars at the police residence but now now go and see. its like a garage with all types of cars and mini buses and trucks. wakaiwana kupi mari yekuti munhu wese awenemotokari. this country has gone to the dogs. inini am a government worker toiling day and night and i see policeman becoming rich over a fortnight. this is a big big big joke. this country is

    • Dharildho

      You are an ignorant Civil Servant. Shandisa maoko ako usamirira mari yePay chete. Wake up

  • zimbotry

    When this goes as far as the big fish there will be some credibility

  • Masaisai

    Come to Norton and see what I call police rot. 90% of all mshikashika drivers have no driver’s licences and rumour is 1 in 3 of those little funny cars belong to the cops.

  • ThankYou

    Coming too late though. But this is a welcome and refreshing development Madam Charamba. Vanhu vanga vanzwa. It was as if it’s crime to be a motorist. The next thing is to have one roadblock between towns.

  • Bringbackourflag

    Personally I don’t think this is a proper way of addressing corruption in the country in general or the force in particular. I understand CGP indicated that corruption is done by two or more parties, so how then do you set a net against our own officers and leave out the public who bribe police officers and complain later. I suggest that instead of channeling resources to Internal Investigations Department the force must introduce allowances for details manning road blocks under excessive temperatures.

  • Major Musango

    If they were really willing to end this rot, I suggest they were not supposed to warn them. Just a media frenzy because of that Mbare Officer who was arrested.

  • jj kumalo

    there is one really bad one on domboshawa rd next hatciff drives b car he can detain you for hours until someone sends ecocash or brings cash even minor things like fire extinguisher not showing green just to let you know

  • Mike

    Lets hope this happens but I fear this is just put out there to look liek something is being done while things on the ground will instead get worse.
    Its a crime to dive a car in Harare now.

  • Vergas

    My biggest challenge is why all police in the road. Is that the only place to do police work. Roadblock after every 5km or less. That’s not human.
    Good example road block at Houghton Park before round about going towards Mbudzi then another one by the Bridge b4 Zindoga with Spikes. They would arrest u for the same offense that you got arrested there at Houghton Park. If this is said to them the answer is we are on different operation we re Waterfalls and they re Southerton. Now you wonder if there re police at stations

  • joflo

    Officer Sithole who is often at the Groombridge roadblock is one of the worst culprits. He is one of the motorcycle Traffic police who harasses motorists endlessly and is proud and boastful of what he does. He needs to be reined in asap.

  • Linonifulu

    The only thing which the government needs to do is to fund the police stations with cash to run their stations