Rich pickings for Zimbabwe’s currupt police Correspondent- Simba Moyo

Some motorists in Zimbabwe have noted with concern the recent increases of spot fines by the government backdating from January 2017, they allege this would mean rich pickings for the police manning roadblocks, who will be tempted to up bribe money accordingly.

Zimbabwean police manning road blocks stand accused for demanding bribes from motorists for various offences, at one point even the Commissioner General of police Augustine Chihuri admitted that his officers were corrupt, bent on wanting easy monies.

Though he said his organization do not tolerate corrupt tendencies, the rot is believed to have developed roots in this important arm of the government.

This backdating may well result in disputes between ZIMRA and taxpayers says the VERITAS, which provides information on the work of the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the laws of Zimbabwe and makes public domain information widely available.

This follows the increase of spot-fines, to almost double, after the signing by President Robert Mugabe provisions that includes a number of taxation related provision of the Finance Act. Motorists believe the police will increase the bribes they demand in line with the increase of spot fines.

Be that as it may, Tendai Gwandu, a motorist explains to this reporter; “What this means is that the police on roadblocks would demand a fee just below the ticket price.

“Let’s say you are supposed to pay ticket value of $30.00, they would entice you to pay $25.00 or even $20.00 in bribe, and some motorists would be tempted to fall into the pit, as they would think it  better than paying the ticket value of $30.00,” he presumes.

From now on, police “spot fines” can be expected to go up, with the more serious petty traffic offences attracting a fine of $30.00 instead of $20.00 and proportionately smaller fines being requested for lesser petty offences.

Some of the offences in this category include proceeding against a red robot, failing to stop at flashing railway lights, overtaking over solid white line, foot brakes not working, among others, these offences used to attract $20.00 before the increase.

Another motorist, who only identified herself as Nyarai, says it would be a rich picking for the corrupt traffic police indeed, as many motorists would rather pay a lesser fee as opposed to the ticket value.

“Although I myself don’t pay police any bribe, as my religion doesn’t allow that, many motorists would be tempted to pay just as the case at the moment. Bribe giving and taking is an offence that had eroded our morals, it’s now a cancer we cannot deny it,” she says.

Motorist has been decrying harassment by police in the country’s roads. Besides the too many police roadblocks, Zimbabweans roads have been in a bad state making driving an arduous task.

Spot fines have been controversial and the High Court at one time adjudged them as unconstitutional. That was after a motorist Andrew Makanura had filed a court action against the traffic police officers for detaining and demand payment of spot fines from motorists at roadblocks.