33 corrupt Avondale police officers transferred

Zimbabwe traffic police

Zimbabwe traffic police

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
17 January 2014

33 traffic police officers, accused of soliciting bribes, have been transferred to other stations, sparking an outcry from Zimbabweans.

On Friday the state media reported that the 33, including an officer-in-charge at Avondale Police Station in Harare, were transferred over alleged “intolerable corruption levels”.

The whole unit was disbanded Wednesday after a motorist, who was in the company of well-known musician Jah Prayzah, formally complained that one of the officers had demanded a $50 bribe from him.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police’s internal investigations team swiftly reacted to a complaint by the motorist, but the money was not recovered. It was recommended that the officers all be transferred,” the Herald said.

Some social commentators however say that the officers should have been dismissed, because letting them keep their jobs is akin to condoning corruption.

“It does not make sense that instead of being fired they have been transferred. Only in Zimbabwe do you get this kind of response to corruption,” Ephraim Ndimande posted on Facebook.

Makabongwe Apollo Ncube said the transfers were just a slap on the wrist for the corrupt officers. “They call it kuchengetana pabasa” (it’s called looking out for one another), he commented Friday.

Shepherd Mwenda said it was unlikely that the transfers will act as a deterrent for the corrupt officers. “The ZRP leadership is simply spreading the problem around rather solving it,” he said.

Another commentator, identified only as Kudzi, said the corruption in the police traffic department reflects more than 30 years of bad leadership in the country.

“How can one expect them to be fired when the very same powers-that-be have been recycling themselves for over three decades now.”

He decried what he said was a culture whereby underperformers, or corrupt individuals and those who lose elections, remain in their positions.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba described the transfer of the 33 officers “as routine”.

Zimbabwe’s police are amongst the most corrupt in the southern Africa region, according to a recent survey by global lobby group Transparency International.

Last week the NewsDay newspaper revealed that two officers had been arrested after they solicited bribes of more than $2,000 along the Harare-Masvingo Road.

The money, which was hidden in a rubbish pit near the checkpoint, was found by a 10-year-old girl from Beatrice who gave it to her parents.

When the traffic officers discovered what had happened to the hidden money, they allegedly followed, harassed the family and confiscated a further $132 of their own money from them. The family has since been summoned to Harare as part of police investigations into the matter.

In October last year, 19 senior police officers were either retired or transferred amid reports of criminal activity and corruption.

Rights campaigner and prominent actor Bernard Bhekilizwe Ndlovu said corruption in the country went to the very top levels of political leadership.

Ndlovu said it would be difficult for police chief Augustine Chihuri to stem malpractices within the force “because his hands are tied by his own corruption”.

“Corruption is part of the legacy of President Robert Mugabe’s leadership. For example, most businesses, and the economy, belong to Mugabe’s close or distance relatives,” Ndlovu added.

Ndlovu said any leader who engages in nepotism and corruption will not be willing to promote a police force that is transparent and accountable.

“Claims by ZANU PF officials that curbing corruption is top of their agenda are just cheap talk, and these transfers prove that the party tolerates it,” he added.

See also

Police anti-graft purge questioned

8 Responsesto “33 corrupt Avondale police officers transferred”

  1. Bekhi says:

    ZRP did the right thing for these police officers as when you exceed the acceptable corruption levels, you must face the consequences of a firm talking to by your supervisor. We have generous and well accepted corruption levels and these officers knew what that level was. The standard is set that way so that everyone can participate in corruption and not just a few individuals. It is a fair and just standard.

    We can’t blame these officers because it is the evil sanctions of the West and Blair and Bush who made them do it. There is nothing wrong with corruption as it is a natural behavior for all businesses and it is done everywhere in the world and we should be proud that we are the best at doing it.

    • Rufaro Ndlovu says:

      I support Bekki. Those of you that can afford vehicles should give willingly to our ZRP. Their roadblocks provide safety and security, as well as providing the ideal opportunity to show your gratitude and generosity.

      • Common Sense says:

        Bekhi, I hope you are just being ‘tongue-in-cheek’ i.e. sarcastic, and that you don’t actually believe what you have said is acceptable.

        ANY corruption, no matter how small is wrong, especially by the police, what they did was criminal.

        And Rufaro, it is thinking like yours that helps perpetuate corruption and make this such a disgusting country from the top down, NO ONE should give ANYTHING to the ZRP unless it is a legitimate fine, dumbass

        • Bekhi says:

          I’m not sure if the roadblocks improve public safety but they are a great source of charity-at-gunpoint for the enterprise that runs the scheme. The evil sanctions made them do it so it is ok. Corruption is a badge of honour and proves our supremacy in business and government. Let’s be proud of it as it has made our Zimbabwe great and prosperous.

  2. Yepec says:

    Everybody in the country knew that the ZRP was corrupt,, including, Chihuri himself. Now that people are talking about it in the streets, the transfers are taking place – a PR job to quieten the people down. If corruption at one ZRP, Police Station warrants the transfers (spreading the rot),, what about the Police Commissioner General, Home Affairs Minister, Government in general and, indeed, the President of the country under whose supervision, the sordid affair is taking place?

  3. Typical in most companys should you be discovered committing fraud you are fired and the police called yet in zimbabwe you reciece a transfer , surely this is just tranfering the problem and not dealing with it , these so called police men and women should have been fired and be doing some time because they are trained to know right from wrong . the supervisor who authorised the transfer should be investigated for abuse and corruption of the law. if the law is willing to fine a person for stealing a tin of kiwi black polish then they should deal with these FRAUDSTERS AND CONMEN POSING AS POLICE

  4. Rufaro Ndlovu says:

    Most of you just don’t understand our culture. Survival in Zimbabwe is making a plan. You are obviously not Zimbabweans. If you are then you have been exiled so long you’ve been ‘Diasporised.’ You are confusing corruption with ingenuity and entrepreneurship.. .

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