Monday, 20 April 2020

LOCKDOWN : MUNICIPAL COPS DEMANDING BRIBES


Some Harare municipal police officers have been fingered in corruption, including demanding kickbacks from people defying lockdown regulations.

They allegedly demand hard cash or goods, mostly food, to set offenders free.

The municipal police officers, who were recently granted temporary arresting powers by the Government during the lockdown period, are also reportedly confiscating goods being sold by fresh produce vendors despite these being classified as essential service providers.

Council has since instituted investigations into the cases of abuse of power by its officers. In a statement, Harare City Council said it would institute disciplinary action against those caught offside.

It further encouraged stakeholders to provide them with visual and audio evidence of council police officers abusing their authority. The council is urging residents to report any such abuses. 

Reports can include pictures and videos, location and voice notes. “Council does not condone abuse to citizens and will therefore take disciplinary action against officers found on the wrong side of the law,” reads the statement.

Reports can be forwarded to acting Chamber Secretary Mr Charles Kandemiri.

A Mbare Musika vendor, who preferred to be identified as Dread Kuda, told The Herald that they had a torrid time from the council police.

“The officers are taking advantage of the lockdown to milk us,” he said. “They are demanding tomatoes and onions. If we fail to comply, we are tormented for no apparent reason.

“The situation is somehow getting better compared to the first days. Responsible authorities should continue constantly doing checks and balances on council police operations.” Herald

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