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Tomana defends corrupt police


Attorney-General (AG) Johannes Tomana has defended corrupt police officers who extort bribes from the public, saying they were doing so due to “poor remuneration”.

Responding to Affirmative Action Group (AAG) president Keith Guzah’s concerns over the bribe-seeking police officers at a symposium in Harare yesterday, Tomana said it was human nature for someone who was underpaid to accept a bribe.

“There is this reality, a man or a woman who is running a family, say, of two, three (or) four children, who has a degree or some diploma . . . they need to be sustained through a justifiable, competitive kind of reward for them to do that job,” Tomana said.

“Take this scenario, I am supposed to man a gate through which people carrying bags of money pass every day and in that scenario I am paid say $100 or $300 and I have kids that go to school, their mothers need to be sustained . . . and there are rentals to be paid. Now, I have this job where people pass with bags of money and one of the guys who carries the money . . . is prepared to give me $1 000, don’t you see what a big heartbeat they will create in that unfortunate man or woman?”

He said that government institutions “tempted” civil servants to engage in corrupt activities because they were not adequately remunerated.

The AG added: “These people actually have real mouths, they have real stomachs and we need the economy to be able to sustain men and women of repute. They are actually not naturally bad, but it is the system which makes them bad.”

He, however, said the onus was on everyone to denounce corruption if society was to stamp out the scourge.

Tomana also said: “The obligation to protect those interests is upon all of us. When we get that kind of thing, then the laws that are there will actually have effect. Now I want us to remember, these laws are no good as long as they do not have believers. You must yourself denounce corruption because the power is within yourselves to say no to corruption.”

AAG founder Phillip Chiyangwa urged State security institutions to operate their own industries and generate enough revenue so as to adequately remunerate their officers.

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