I paid a bribe

A new website has gone live on which people can tell their experiences in dealing with corrupt Zimbabwean officials. The site can be found at: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw

Corruption at Beitbridge

• Location: Beitbridge Border Post

• Date: Jun 1 2012

• Time: 13:58

• Description: I’m one of those Zimbos who had never paid bribes for anything…until my brief visit to South Africa last August. On my way back, the bus I was on stopped on the Zimbabwean side at about 9AM and we were told the ZIMRA guys would open and search every bag. They didn’t actually start doing that but merely stated the whole process would take a very long time, maybe six hours! The driver and conductor had already asked every passenger to “contribute” R20 even before we arrived at the border. I asked a fellow passenger and she told me this is standard practice. Sadly, I actually know the senior ZIMRA guy from his days in Harare. He greeted me cheerfully and was smiling all the time, asking what I had brought for his team from South Africa!

ZIMRA, police and VID

• Location: Eastlea, Harare

• Date: Jun 1 2012

• Time: 15:33

• Description:

ZIMRA officials insisted my goods were beyond the legal requirements. They were just clothes, but the guys take out their books and calculators and try to intimidate you into believing their figures. To avoid the hassles, I just gave him $20. He knew I knew he was bluffing, but you can’t get a senior to support you. The guys (including the seniors) will laugh and point you out as “munhu anonyepera kudakuziwa” simply because you are from overseas. The Police, the moment you give them your foreign registered licence, they want you to drive them to the station to verify your identity. You are in a hurry, he is not. I got my licence on the 5th attempt. On earlier attempts I had driven very well, but no envelopes changed hands. The moment that happened I got my licence. Instructor paid the guy. Cant remember who Instructor was. Inspector was a Mupostori from Eastlea.

ZIMRA Plumtree Border

• Location: Plumtree Border

• Date: Jun 9 2012

• Time: 13:24

• Description:

ZIMRA officials are disregarding the invoices we submit when clearing our ExJaps and they inflate prices so that we can “negotiate” and bribe them. I had to bribe one guy named “sting” with $100 after I submitted my invoice totalling $2,800 and he claimed my car was worth $3,900.

Zim Embassy in UK

• Location: London

• Date: May 31 2012

• Time: 23:17

• Description:

I live and work in the UK and lost my passport, I was asked to pay £65 – no idea what for. I was told that I have two choices; 1) leave the form at the embassy and we will send it to Harare but it can take up 6 months or more; 2) Send it to your relatives to submit it for you. I opted for choice number 2 and sent the form to my brother back home. All the applications from outside Zimbabwe have to be submitted in Harare, so my brother went there to submit only to be arrested for silly reasons and I had to pay for his release and my passport to be processed. I paid £600 for the bribes (including passport) plus the £65 paid in London.

Zim Passport

• Location: Makombe Buildings

• Date: Jun 1 2012

• Time: 13:20

• Description:

In 2005 my Zim passport expired and when I tried to renew it I was informed that because I had been out of the country for more than four years and that both my parents were born in South Africa I was not entitled to a Zim passport. I had no choice but to apply for New Zealand citizenship to get a passport in order to travel. I have since lived and worked in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia and feel that I am now ready to return home to Zimbabwe where I can pass on some of the experience that I have gained over the last 12 years. I was recently put in contact with a lady in Zim named Sharon whom I was informed could renounce my New Zealand citizenship and renew my Zim passport. I forwarded my expired passport, my ZimID card and paid $1300.00 for the service. I am informed that my passport was processed at KG6 barracks but when collected by a friend it was found to have a forged signature and contained finger prints that I never submitted. In fear I immediately cancelled my plans to return home and my friend in Zimbabwe reported the new passport lost to her local police station although she still has the forged passport in her possession. Please can you advise if anything can be done to rectify my situation. Dave Van.

Passport in Brighton

• Location: Makombe Buildings

• Date: Jun 1 2012

• Time: 13:20

• Description:

Needed a passport. I was from the diaspora and didn’t want the hassle of waiting in the queues in and outside Makombe buildings. Asked a local friend and was referred to a young man Brighton who works in the passport office. It was processed with alarming speed and I got my document in 2 days, but only after parting with a cool $100 ontop of $250 processing fees and $3 to buy the form

Traffic police

• Location: Beitbridge Road, Harare

• Date: Jun 2 2012

• Time: 01:05

• Description:

February 2012, South of Hre on the Beitbridge Rd, traffic cops asked for $200 ticket fine and accepted $20 with no ticket written, we felt the speed on the radar was from another car. Further down the highway pulled over again this time in a slow 60km area traffic area nearing a village. This time cop fished for a bribe but I explained I had just paid one up the road and I was out of cash, he let me continue my journey.

Worse than Magumagumas

• Location: Limpopo River

• Date: Jun 2 2012

• Time: 01:43

• Description:

ZNA/ZRP officers stationed along the Limpopo River are making a killing fleecing border jumpers. They are not there to keep the peace, or prevent border jumping, but to make money. In 2011 we were giving a lift to ZRP personnel from Maramani area into town and they made us stop when we passed border jumpers who tried to flag us down for a lift. The police got out and fined each of them R100 (and in one case R200 to a man carrying a roll of wire). The money went straight into the ZRP pockets, and no ticket issued. Roadblocks are a nightly occurrence on the road to Shashi where border jumpers are fleeced. Taxi drivers could be in cahoots.

Commissioner of Oaths ZRP

• Location: Beitbridge ZRP Station

• Date: Jun 2 2012

• Time: 12:06

• Description:

I have twice sent a member of staff to have Birth Certificate and ID documents certified as true copies by ZRP for NSSA Claim purposes. Both times, he was turned away. In Byo, he was told he needed a payslip. Since when is it a requirement to have a payslip when asking for documents to be certified? In Beitbridge, they just couldn’t be bothered, and it was suggested that he would need to pay something to get it done. In the end, he managed to get some documents done, but not others. ALL WE NEEDED were certified copies. The public has a right to expect this service, and it should be given without hindrance of any kind.

ZRP ‘discounts’

• Location: Harare Greendale Coronation Ave

• Date: Jun 3 2012

• Time: 10:32

• Description:

It’s a minor case but the essence is in the upbringing of the next generation of citizens. I picked my son from school. We were rightly caught not to really stop at stop sign and both of us ‘forgot’ to have our seatbelts on. A fine of $20 was due. The officer with the carbon paper book offered a discount of $10 if I don’t need a receipt. I agreed and paid. All my efforts to teach my son the do’s and don’ts of rightful (road) behaviour are now null and void because he observed keenly what his ‘old man’ was doing: Bribing in broad daylight to save a few bucks! Disgusting!

Holiday bribery

• Location: Beitbridge

• Date: Jun 4 2012

• Time: 10:53

• Description:

Travellers to and from South Africa are paying bribes everyday on Harare to Beitbridge Road. On any day there are about 6 – 10 speed traps at 60km/hr. Firstly the roads are not marked properly Secondly there is nothing you can do to dispute the speed even if you are travelling below 60km/hr. You can easily pay bribes to these cops and go free for lesser amount. I have done it many times.

Cameras don’t lie?

• Location: SamoraMachel Ave Harare ( past show grounds)

• Date: Jun 6 2012

• Time: 05:56

• Description:

No I didn’t pay the bribe. But the traffic police with camera stopped me “for speeding at 86k.p.h.” I informed them that no way was this true as my vehicle simply cannot go over 70k.p.h. They tried their luck for a while but knew they were caught out here so let me go. Whoever said cameras don’t lie have not tested ZRP ones!

Traffic cop ‘favours’

• Location: Whitwell Road, off Teviotdale

• Date: Jun 8 2012

• Time: 09:40

• Description:

Traffic cops threatened to impound a car after the Zinara extension had been retrospectively revoked, and asked for ‘favours’ to make the problem go away.

Beitbridge Customs Officer

• Location: Breitbridge border crossing

• Date: May 5 2012

• Time: 09:30

• Description:

Upon return from SA through Beitbridge, I needed to get my SA invoices stamped by Zim customs authorities in order to mail in my request to SA for the reimbursement of my VAT. The custom officer, and later his big boss, refused to do so indicating that I would have to fill out a series of forms and that it would probably take 3-4 hours to do so unless… I refused to wait that long, I was allowed into Zimbabwe with the merchandise, but I didn’t get the needed import stamp on the invoices – which had already been stamped by SA authorities upon leaving SA.

Corrupt traffic cops

• Location: Nguboyenja flyover

• Date: Jun 3 2012

• Time: 14:41

• Description:

Due to the nature of my job, I travel a lot. I have realised that Chihuri sends the police at roadblocks to reduce road accidents. But they rather fill their pockets with bribe money. Go to the roadblock at Nguboyenja flyover along Luveve road in Bulawayo. The officers there collect bribe money in full view of the public. A friend in the police told me that the juniors are given targets to raise bribe money daily by their bosses. Recently an anti-corruption team was launched by police provincial command, but has made no significant arrests. I am told that it was given strict instructions not to visit roadblocks manned by traffic section without prior notice. The reason is that once the traffic section command is notified of an impending visit, they advise their members to be cautious.

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