Uniformed police on Friday went on a bribe-seeking spree in Harare, where they hand-cuffed vendors, touts and mechanics.
The police officers who carried out their nefarious deeds in Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, where NewsDay is situated, were observed demanding bribes. Those who paid were let go immediately.
The others were led away on foot in hand cuffs.
This reporter followed the police. At one stage they had rounded up about 16 suspects. The officers were demanding $5 from each “criminal”.
Most of the suspects were set free when the police arrived at a mobile police unit in Market Square.
Later a man who had been nabbed by the police for washing cars on the pavement said he had refused to pay the spot-fine of $5. Those who paid were set free but they were not given receipts.
“They wanted us to pay $5. I did not give in so easily knowing that my $2 would help me,” he said.
After netting car washers, the police officers, who appeared jittery, were overheard saying: “The guys in handcuffs want to pay $2, but the others have paid $5.”
Police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau said the police would only act on the bribery incident if their own investigation proved the NewsDay report was accurate.
The investigation, he said, would only be carried out if one of the victims of the bribery made a police report.
“I do not have facts of that incident at the moment. We base our actions on investigations before we can issue any official comment. However as police we do not condone bribery,” Inspector Sabau said.