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15 Things To Do In Zimbabwe If You Get Harassed by Police

*Before you get harassed by the police in Zimbabwe DID YOU KNOW?*

1. A traffic offence including driving without a license is NO grounds for you to be jailed, so when/if you walk into that Police Station make it clear to them that you are aware of this.

2. You are free to record a traffic stop, Facebook live is best for this as confiscation of your video is not possible.

3. A police officer cannot assault you or attempt to physically restrain you during a traffic stop UNLESS you pose a threat to the public or the police or if you are under arrest for a serious crime which the police officer must clearly state before putting you under arrest.

4. A police officer MUST identify themselves as a police officer and prove this claim before you provide your identity. You can use your ID or driver’s license to verify your identity by presenting it to them after which it must be returned before you resume any interaction.

5. If you don’t admit guilt you WILL NOT be jailed you will be given a court date, in most cases police officers dread going to court more than you do, it costs them more time and paperwork than it does for you and also in court they have the burden to prove your guilt. Police officers are very often publicly embarrassed by irate magistrates when they present weak cases in court.

6. If you do decide to go to court you have no obligation to pay a single cent at the road block until your case is heard. You will be given a court date after which you will be released and notified about your hearing by way of summons (NO JAIL TIME), however, if anytime before your court hearing you decide to admit guilt you can pay your fine at your nearest police station and you won’t need to go to court, take this time to make your decision. Request a form 265 at this stage, if they don’t have it request that you go to the police station and a docket be opened for you if necessary (police officers dread paper work and court dates) whatever the case insist that you WANT to go to court particularly if the fine being imposed is exorbitant, magistrates are more lenient and can fine you less or send you off with a warning. REMEMBER THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN BY GOING TO COURT is that you will be found guilty or that you case may drag on for a bit. BUT if you do decide to take the court route and you don’t attend court, a warrant of arrest may be issued.

7. It is illegal for a police officer to impound your vehicle for a traffic violation, this is illegal forfeiture of your property, in the case that they insist on taking your vehicle request paperwork or a receipt with the officer’s name clearly stated, proceed to lay a complaint using this as evidence. Only the VID can impound a vehicle for good cause through lawful procedures. The police can impound your vehicle if it is material evidence in a criminal case or if instructed to do so by a court of law through a messenger of court.

8. You are under no obligation to carry a police officer in your vehicle or surrender your vehicle to a police officer or police station. Any police officer or station is liable for any damage or loss to your property.

9. Police must have your consent or reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle.

10. You are free to request that a police officer show you their schedule of fines.

11. IF a police officer deploys spikes, switch off your vehicle, request his ID and Force Number, calmly exit your vehicle and film or take pictures of the spikes where they are deployed proceed to lay a complaint, at this point you may Insist on going to court, even if you have committed an offense if the police break the law (deploy spikes) while trying to enforce it their case against you will likely be thrown out by a magistrate.

12. Any traffic stop in the absence of a police vehicle must have a minimum of 3 officers.

13. As a public servant a police officer is obliged to answer all your questions, you also have a right to request the audience of his/her superior all the way up to and beyond the Officer In Charge.

14. When you no longer believe that you can resolve an issue with an officer insist on proceeding to the police station where you can lay a formal complaint and then escalate the issue through official channels.

15. If you want to lay a complaint call the following numbers

DESPITE WHAT YOU’VE HEARD, THE LAW AND THE COURTS ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOU, AND IN MOST CASES IN ZIMBABWE THEY STILL DO. IN THE SAME WAY THE POLICE LIKE TO DO THINGS BY THE LETTER OF THE LAW YOU MUST DO THE SAME AND MAKE SURE YOU EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM THEM,… PAPER WORK, FORCE NUMBERS AND ALL!!!.

*24 HR PGHQ POLICE HOTLINE*

Complaints desk – (04) 703631 (24-hour)

*ZRP Traffic HQ – Public Relations: *

Help desk – Assistant Inspector Muhondi – (04) 754333/4

Spokesman – Inspector Chigome – 0782 951 537

Assistant – Sergeant Govere – 0772 969 485

Assistant – Sergeant Phiri – 0777 616 193

*TRAFFIC CO-ORDINATORS*

Midlands Province Superintendent Muringa (054) 222 847 / 0712 264 183 / 0773 375 471
Matabeleland South Superintendent Mumanyi (0284) 24142 / 0774 625 511

Matabeleland North Superintendent Ngorima (0281) 35012 / 0776 527 218 / 0712 798 874

Mashonaland East Superintendent Gatsi (0279) 23919 / 0772 910 685

Mashonaland West Superintendent Mupande (067) 29002 / 0772 509 777

Manicaland Superintendent Chi panda (020) 63813 / 0775 250 857

Masvingo Superintendent Moyo (039) 264920 / 0772 335 312

Bulawayo Traffic Inspector Bobo (09) 64661/887916 / 0777 855 983

*COMMANDING OFFICERS*

Bulawayo Officer Commanding Chief Superintendent Nyathi (09) 887916 / 0772 323 830

Harare Officer Commanding Chief Superintendent Bakaidza (04) 777642 / 0712 874 452

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