The police cannot fool everyone, every time

The cat is finally out of the bag! All those spot fines that traffic officers have been demanding at roadblocks were for one purpose - the purchase of inner cellar vehicles for fat top coppers.

Tawanda Majoni
Tawanda Majoni

There cannot be any other explanation and I challenge ZRP to give us a breakdown of how they used the money they have been extorting from hapless motorists for more than a year.

Reports emerging show that the police force has taken delivery of top-of-the-range cars for officers from the rank of Assistant Commissioner straight up to the Commissioner General.

The 30 or so vehicles easily run into millions of dollars and their purchase does not seem to appear in the Blue Book that defines their property acquisition procedures.

The cars that have just been delivered at Police General Headquarters range from BMW 328i series saloon cars, Range Rover Sports, Nissan Navara LE double cabs, to the latest Ford Ranger LXT and double cab Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

What is particularly irksome for the motorists who have spent hours at roadblocks because their cars would not be released unless they paid the spot fines, is that their money has been going to boost the comfort and leisure of a few individuals.

All the discomfort and inconvenience they suffered were a sacrifice towards the coziness of a bunch of fat-cat capitalists who do not seem to care a hoot about the man, woman or child in the street.

Wayne Bvudzijena, the chief police spokesperson, lamely tells us that the purchase was approved by the Police Service Commission and the Public Service Commission. Even if that were true, what would you expect from the two commissions? They are stuffed with partisan and cowed commissioners who would not dare decide otherwise.

From the time ZRP mounted the endless roadblocks on our busy roads last year, the rumour mill has been running 24/7, with two main theories emerging.

First, some said the police was being used to mobilise funds to oil the Zanu (PF) machinery, especially as the party ratcheted up talk about elections having to take place this year. The second hypothesis now seems to have gained much credence – that they wanted to raise money to buy luxury vehicles for senior officers.

It is interesting to note that the first people who alerted me to the ZRP’s intention to use roadblocks to raise money for new cars were police insiders themselves. These juniors are bitter at the manner in which their bosses are (mis)placing their priorities.

The top cops are fast running out of space to park their personal fleets, mostly accumulated by virtue of their positions in the force and the extent of the patronage system that keeps them supportive of Zanu (PF). I visited Morris Depot, the police training camp in Harare, some time back, and was shocked by the number of cars at one of the senior officer’s quarters. Police recruits are actually assigned, on a daily basis, to clean and guard the lavish fleets of vehicles amassed by their officers.

This contrasts sharply with what you see at police stations, which form the core of the force’s operations. These stations do not have cars to carry out essential duties. In some cases, the officers in charge of the stations have to beg private persons to use their cars.

Scenes that require urgent attention are not being attended on time and, in most cases, the stations operate in the dark after power cuts because there are no generators.

So, who is fooling who here?

Post published in: Analysis
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  1. Diana

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