FORMER Industry and Trade minister Nkosana Moyo has said traffic police officers recently tormented him over failure to produce one breakdown red triangle and a swollen tyre after he hit a pothole during his recent visit to Harare.
BY SILAS NKALA
On his Facebook wall, the former minister said Zimbabwean police officers’ desperation to beat targets of “illegal” collection of money from motorists had escalated to disproportionate levels.
“What has Zimbabwe come to really? I recently drove through Harare and, as is now the norm, I went through an unbelievable number of police roadblocks,” he posted.
“These roadblocks are for no other purpose, but to extract as much money from the already suffering Zimbabwean citizenry as possible. All for the benefit of the political beast that must continue to feed itself at the people’s expense.
“At one of the roadblocks, a young police officer, who no doubt was struggling to meet his daily target of money to extort, walked around my car.
“He then asked for my driving licence, which I duly produced. He then proceeded to list my transgressions for the day. The list was as follows: I did not have a second breakdown triangle, which is a requirement in Zimbabwe, because I had that morning hit a pothole; one of my tyres had a swelling. For these transgressions he wanted me to pay $40 that is $20 for each transgression.
“I explained, as calmly as I could, that I was not responsible for repairing roads so that motorists would not hit potholes and also that my vehicle was very roadworthy.”
Moyo said he further pointed out that Zimbabwe, which does not manufacture vehicles, was the only country he knew which required a second breakdown triangle.
“I told him that I would not pay for the tyre swelling and I would rather go to court. Nevertheless, I conceded that he, the poor police officer, was not a legislator and so this extortion madness was not to be blamed on him,” the former minister said.
“I asked him to please give me a ticket for the second triangle transgression given that I could not withdraw cash from my bank although they were sitting on a significant sum of my money. At this point, he said that the police do not issue tickets. They were required to collect spot fines. I explained that I could not pay a spot fine since I could not get any of my hard-earned cash from the bank. The young police officer then came up with an amazing solution to the predicament.”
Moyo said the police officer said he would come with him to the nearest supermarket so that they would look for someone with cash and instead of that individual paying for their groceries in cash, they would give him (Moyo) the money and he would use his card to pay the shop for the goods.
“I would, in this way, be able to pay my fine,” he said.
Moyo lamented that the level of desperation of the State to raise money was embarrassing for the nation, which has been run down by the Zanu PF regime.
Contacted for comment, police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said: “Do I need to comment or respond on that? How do I know that he had such a complaint?”