The Sunday Mail
◆ Questions sent to Asst Commissioner Charity Charamba, the national spokesperson for ZRP, on Thursday, were not answered by the time of going to print.
Below we profile encounters between motorists and the police on different days and at different places.
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I was on my way to work. I stopped just before the “Stop” sign from Makoni Shopping Centre into Seke Road. There was one car ahead and we both stopped our cars at the same time.
When I got into the main road, a police officer leapt to his feet and signalled for me to stop; asked for my driver’s license and told me to park on the roadside.
He said I had not stopped (at the “Stop” sign).
I told him I had stopped, then he said, “Itotsvagai mari amaiguru otherwise munganonoke kubasa,” to which I replied, “Hanidna mari yandiri kukupai because ndamira pastop sign.”
He went away and attended to other drivers before coming back to demand money from me again, this time saying, “Kana musina mari isirwai pa EcoCash.”
I told them it wasn’t a case of me not having money, but that I wasn’t going to pay for a crime that I hadn’t committed. He threatened to impound my car and went away again.
I adjusted my seat to a sleeping position, took out my Stephen King and started reading from where I’d left the previous night.
Seeing that he had run out of luck, the police officer asked one of his female colleagues to hand back my license and tell me to go.
I asked them what happened to my crime and the said fine, but my question fell on deaf ears. Sometimes if you show them that you are in a rush, they will bank on that and hold onto your license ‘til you pay.
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Mutape Paida Saurombe
I was driving to South Africa in a Zimbabwe-registered car when l was stopped in Masvingo.
The police officer enquired where l was going and l told him South Africa, to which he immediately demanded that l produce a TIP (temporary import permit).
I looked at him in shock as he said, “Murikushamiswa neyi, buritsai TIP or mirai paside peroad.” The other officer came and asked his colleagues what the hell he wanted a TIP for (because my car was already registered in Zimbabwe).
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I was told I failed to stop at a “Stop” sign at Kamfinsa shops. I (had) stopped. So my question is, how long should I stop for? He said I stopped as if I was at a “give way”. I had made the mistake of giving him my licence.
So I was on (the) tight side. I was made to pay US$20. I paid it because my daughter was now crying in fear as they kept on coming to my car to harass me for money.
At some point I drove off in anger, then made a U-turn after I thought of how long it took me to get my licence years ago.
The second incident is when they claimed I ran a red robot along Beatrice Road. I had not. I turned and then the traffic light turned to amber after I turned. I refused to give them my licence then. They just Motorists recount their nightmares got to see it.
After I refused to pay or admit to a crime I didn’t commit, they asked to see my spare wheel, triangles etc. I showed them. The lady cop and I had a shouting match. Then she swore and said she would come to Star FM kuzondinyadzisa pakazara vaona kuti mari haisi kubuda. There are too many tales to tell.
Brian Tsvetula Dinala
I was coming from South Africa. Just after Ntabazinduna on the highway to Gweru I was stopped by police on the grounds that I was over-speeding. The officer said I was doing 135km/h.
Apparently when I turned into the Bulawayo-Harare Highway I had put my car on cruise control at exactly 120km/h so there was no way I could have gone beyond 121km/hr. I asked him to show me my speed on the machine and he then started telling me all kinds of stories and that he had cleared my speed to check other cars.
I wished him a good day and drove off.
Who here and now can tell and convince me that our Zimbabwe Revenue Police (ZRP) are NOT out on our roads to raise funds?
Just before my anger at them had subsided today (Thursday) I was stopped at a fund-raising (road) block where I was asked to produce the usual: reflective triangles, reflective bib, spare wheel, jack, fire extinguisher and driver’s licence, all which I had at hand.
However, they arrested me for having the fire extinguisher in the boot: quote; “It should be placed at the front.”
I was charged US$10. After pleading, praying and worshiping them, it was reduced to a US$5 fine and the charge altered to be “failure to wear safety belt”.
So now am I that much of a delinquent motorist that I earn traffic tickets at the rate of two tickets every four days, for the same “crime?” At this rate, my licence will be cancelled soon.
Can someone educate me on the rules of our roads, seems I don’t learn.
Lloyd Mwanashe Mashayamombe
I just love our police. So my car gets broken into by thieves and I discover that in the morning. I drive to our satellite police station and the policeman on duty says he has run out of stationery and advises me to make a report at St Mary’s Police Station.
I drive to St Mary’s Police and just by the gate there is a roadblock manned by over eight officers.
As I indicate to get into the police station one of the officers flags me down, inspects my car and says I should pay a fine for a broken quarter glass, and I am like, “What! I am actually coming to report a break-in through that quarter glass.”
So there is ticket stationery for a broken quarter glass but there is no stationery for recording criminal offences?
I leave the car by the station gate and get inside to report the break-in and ask for an officer to attend the crime scene and I am told “we are under-staffed”.
But there are eight officers at one road block just by the gate and another dozen just opposite the station along Seke-Makoni Road!
Evince Carolyne Mugumbate
I was stopped after the intersection of Prince Edward Road and Samora Machel Avenue for crossing when the robot was amber but I disputed because the robot got to amber when I was already in the middle of the intersection.
It was in November last year.
Funny thing is he stopped me but there was a car behind me that he did not stop. I asked his colleagues what they had seen and the response was they were not looking. It was between me and that particular officer.
I was prepared for anything because I was sure I had gone into the intersection when the robot was still green on my side. So they waited until most cars had gone, that is when they all ganged up on me. I stood my ground.
They took my cellphone number and said they were going to process the docket to court, blah blah. Of course, they tried to reduce the fine. Hanzi “chingobhadharai US$10 or US$5 zvayo”.
Up to now I haven’t been called to court.