I Paid a Bribe

The latest reports on the I Paid a Bribe website suggest corruption on the roads is still high in Zimbabwe. The website has received 46 reports in under a month.

On 22 June one witness reported a man named Moyo “made me pay $25, saying the ticket was of value $57,” because his valid tax disc was supposedly on the wrong side of the dashboard. Two other witnesses reported similar problems from the same Mr. Moyo at the corner of Rezende Street by Bhadella. One of the witnesses, posting under the name Chiweshe, said that he is “familiar with this guy.”

“I run a tuckshop near Rezende Street. They clamp your vehicle and wait for you to approach them to ‘make an offer’. Their crew especially target those of us who operate businesses in that area, as we park there on a daily basis. Will try make a video to post,” Chiweshe wrote.

Traffic cops were flagged for corruption by other witnesses, too.

One, posting anonymously on 28 June, said, “I paid a bribe to a cop to avoid a court sentence for apparently breaking the law by turning against a red traffic light,” at the intersection of Samora Machel Ave and Rotten Row. The bribe was $20.

Another poster was frustrated at the amount of police interference drivers’ are expected to put up with on the roads.

“Can the responsible authorities tell the nation [of] the harassment drivers are getting from the police for not having a SAZ certified fire extinguisher, reflector triangle and bib. Last week a police officer demanded my car keys for not possessing the above. Is this lawful or are they are just trying to make money with us?” wrote the anonymous poster.

Another witness said, “I didn’t have to pay a bribe, and got off with a ‘Caution’, but they did accept a bribe from the vehicle stopped behind me,” at the corner of Court Road and Kennedy Drive.

The roads aren’t the only places subject to bribery and scams, one witness, again anonymous, recounted an experience with customs officials.

“On June 13, 2012 my daughter (US passport) paid her and her sister’s entry visa with $60 ($30 each). The Customs Officer took the money then proceeded to act as if he was busy, then returned and asked for the money again. When she complained that she had already paid, he became angry, kept her passport and sent her to the back of the line. She was then forced to pay again. No receipt was given. Be aware to pay with the exact amount and insist on a receipt before the Customs Officer leaves or tries to conduct any other business,” the witness wrote.

Not everyone is happy with the website, found at www.ipaidabribe.org.zw. One poster called it “ridiculous.”

“Must be popular with Roadies (sic) and Poms. Don’t you realise where you are? ‘Bribing’ is the ‘African way’. Wake up or leave. Nothing will change,” the poster wrote.

Post published in: News

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