Mzembi takes on Chombo over roadblocks

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi is set to take on his Home Affairs counterpart, Ignatius Chombo, in Cabinet on the issue of police’s heavy presence on the country’s roads, which he says is deterring tourists from visiting the country.

By Fidelity Mhlanga

Walter Mzembi
Walter Mzembi

A boisterous Mzembi yesterday promised that the issue would be dealt with.

“The concern is about excessive presence of police,” he said.

“I am back. The boy is back in town. The issue will be dealt with.”

A visitor exit survey (VES) done by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstat), released in February this year, said harassment by the police constituted the highest percentage of reasons why leaving tourists would not recommend the country to potential visitors at 43,2%.

This was followed by harassment by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officers at 14,7% and harassment by Immigration was at 8,7%.

“We will mainstream it through the Cabinet. Whatever what the survey (VES) is talking about must not be seen as an affront,” Mzembi said.

VES surveyed 38 680 foreign tourists over a 12-month period between 2015 and November 2016.

There has been a national outcry over the number of police roadblocks on the country’s roads, but the police and the Home Affairs ministry have justified this, claiming the Zimbabwe Republic Police was ensuring safety and security.

However, critics are convinced the numerous roadblocks are a fundraising ploy by the police, an accusation the force has rejected.

Mzembi said the government, through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, was working with various communities throughout the country on community-based tourism projects and enterprises in order to achieve inclusivity and sustainable socio-economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction.

“Community-based tourism (CBT) are projects owned and/or managed by communities and offer services to tourists while generating wider community benefits,” he said.

Mzembi was speaking ahead of the launch of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, whose official launch will be on Friday, with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the guest of honour.

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27 Comments

  1. Please help us Mr Mzembi we don’t need them at all in our roads instead if there is no where to deploy them they must be retrenched .

  2. I think its a great move for minister muzembi to take on chombo because zimbabwe police is a nonsense ,to drive a car in zim roads its like an offence the police heavy presence is actually a abuse to motorists because these policeman are criminals on the road not officers,there is a daily road when entering kwekwe and leaving kwekwe those roadblocks each as around 22 details each and I don’t even think the state is getting even 40% of their collections .There is a big fat traffic cop on that road he is so proud of him self on that kwekwe road he boosts too much he tells motorist that he bought morethan 6 hondafit cars from that road block.
    Ask any foreigner about zim traffic roadblocks they will tell you that they are a shit and we will never come back this is killing our tourism and foreign currency inflows

  3. I do concur with the Minister Dr Mzembi. Our Z.R. Police is now only concentrating on the roads and ignoring other sectors of our society which also need their protection. Why are we not seeing the police patrolling and protecting residence and industries to deter would be criminals. I have not seen this happening in the locations/business premises. You only see the Police at the roadblocks during the day but none during the night times. Is it not the time our Police should increase their patrolls. A lot of robbery cases have been reported of recent and I beleiuve the criminals are taking advantage of the absence of the police during night times.I urge the relevant authorities to review their strategies.

  4. Yes Mzembi, that is the reason why you lost at the UN, now you need to take on whoever is responsible for your loss.

  5. The poilce are raising funds for their corrupt bosses.Its such a shame that an anomaly has been normalised in Zimbabwe.Those justifying their excessive presence on the roads are not affected because theyre not stopped because of their government positions.We know that.

    Even travelling to work is a nightmare due to the police roadblocks.In Bulawayo along Luveve road.There is corruption by the law enforcement agents siphoning funds from the kombis every singleday…thyre paying $3.00 per kombi per day…Who is benefitting from that.Had the money been used for roads rehabilitation by the local authorities it would have been bettr.The police shefs have authorised that.Who should stop that day time evi when the police are harrssing people,.

    Its a shame…

  6. Guess evry dark cloud has a silver linning! You can bow concentrate on yo job at home. Maybe u can solve this long standing problem. Our police force has developed a hippo skin. They are impevious to calls to cut on number of roadbloks!

  7. there is a time for everything under the sun,life operates in seasons,we are in a season of roadblocks,no amount of bickering will see them disappear,we are in a season of self distructing so whatever is good we destroy,whatever has potential we kill in its infancy.let’s kill our tourism like we did everything

  8. These road blocks are not a nuisance to tourists only, but also to locals who suffer from them 24/7. we do not have a sense of freedom at all.

  9. Mzembi you should have known the effect of the shadow policy of fundraising through the police that it will cost you. If you were level headed from word go you should have ironed your house first. Lots of things in our country were against you going through. Be thankful some took you that far but others are not that easy, they reason. With the mess by our police on roadblocks on tourists and citizens what clout dd you think you will have to ‘UN’ tourism in USA, UK, Australia? Maybe yes at Nkandla!!!

  10. Zanu Police Force , ZRP , they always force everything on people , people must know were to put their votes in 2028 . Muzembi is now feeling the hit because he lost and he was told the truth on the ground , but alas its too late boy , you are in the wrong basket.

  11. Point of correction 2018 vote wise , vote corruption out .

  12. maybe now that you are back in town its high-time you put your ambitious energy to good use. Why want to go to a foreign land to lead when your country needs a leader who can clean the mess. Go for the state house and prove your worthiness. Zimbabwe needs a leader more than ‘UN’. think my brother, think don’t be greedy come and work for the people here at. Mzembi for state house, you young smart and intelligent, think, who can beat you in the group? stop this nonesense of UN and be our president here in Zimbabwe. think

  13. I drove from Cape Town to Johannesburg a distance of 1400 km I did not see even one road bloc. But they were a lot of traffic police cars parked along the way. Monitoring traffic and helping people who would have break downs and accidents. I then drove from Johannesburg to Beitbridge a distance of 547 km I did not see even one road bloc also. I was stopped once police. Not at a road bloc but at a toll gate. On all these roads they are a lot of traffic police driving or parked besides the road. They rarely stop cars. SA police mostly do spot checks. Road blocks are done during holidays and usually one road bloc as you travel into or out of a town or city not every 10 km.

  14. nothing like so called safety and security done by these zrp thieves, these are day light robbers mbavha dzinobira varombo varikutambudzika. On sunday i was driving from Mufakose to Southlands Waterfalls just imagine that just by the robots at Marimba Police station was a roadblock, by the deprecation b4 flyover at zfc was a rdblock, at T junction rd going to twn rdblock, Total high glen rdblock,Glen Norah police rdblock, roundabout Mbudzi rdblock and last but not list Ivines Nhando area police rdblock aaaaaaaaaaaa chihuri satijairira shaaaa hatisi vanavakoba we are not financial institutors shaaa. Open industries so that u may collect tax from empoyesss.

    Thanx Muzembi take this Chombo gwevedzi raMUgabe headon but usatifadza nenhema apo

  15. These roadblocks affect locals more than tourists. The tourists will come for a week or two then leave but locals have to live with these useless roadblocks everyday.
    Its time the police install cameras and then monitor them from a command centre and only react when needed.
    Mzembi would have seen this in many countries around the world.

  16. Zimbabwe is a cursed nation. The citizens have been put under bondage in different ways and it looks like there is no end to the poeple’s suffering. In any case my message to you comrades and friends is there is nothing that doesn’t have an end. Time will tell. I think there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives.The end is near.

  17. It wont change anything even if the police were to stop going on to the roads. The image of Zim was tarnished a long way back when war vets grabbed white owned farms and killed some white farmers. The political situation in the country in which some pple are killed, maimed and made to disappear are some of the contributing factors. A foreign tourist reading the news would view the nation as a no go area.
    Also, the high unemployment rate is preventing tourists from coming into Zim. The unemployed Zimbos are now vendors and are causing the towns and cities to become an eyesore. Urine, faeces, garbage everywhere, noisy hwindis, street kidz etc are some of the reasons that are preventing Zim to be a safe and clean destination for tourists.

  18. Ordinarily I wouldn’t blame the foot soldiers on the ground because they have set daily targets to meet meet if only they went about it while respecting motorists and not bullying everyone around.

  19. There is a need to professionalise the police force recruitment done at university level not staff the police force on partasin bases. Officers armed with criminal law and justice degrees is the only way can heal the professional misconduct in the force.

    1. indeed Whema i think there is need for the force to be led by professionals who have an appreciation of the implications of wrong or right decisions on the country

  20. Vusumuzi wako Mange

    ZRP changed long back to mean Zimbavha Rinoba Pachena. That’s has become the image they have potrayed of their lot..

  21. charles charingeno

    Mr. Editor, Chombo and Chihuri must be sharing the loot that is obtained on the roads by police. This is evidenced by the ever presence of the police on the roads. Do not be deceived that they have reduced the number of roadblocks, may be only in resort towns and places, but who really need the police’s heavy presence on the road as if we are in civil strife. Here is an example, Before Mbudzi Roundabout coming into town, there are police offices and then within the traffic circle Mbudzi Round about the police are right in the traffic circle, blocking free movement of traffic. Then just after Murefu Service Station there are some traffic police again. This is a revenue generating project they are implementing. Chombo and Chihuri are benefitting and will not stop this constant cash supply by reducing the number of stops by police on the road. If you want roadblocks to be few, please remove Chombo and Chihuri.

  22. they mount roadblocks because they steal from motorists kaa. i started drinking beer four years ago since then i never saw anyone arrested for public drinking coz vanozivakuti kuzvidhakwa hakunamari.

    vaMuzembi itai operation mupurisa ngaabve paroad

  23. In Mutare, a distance of less than 20km one way has 5 road blocks. Travelling from Dangamvura into town you usually get 5 roadblocks. The first is at the link road on the Chimanimani-Mutare road, the second near the Red Cross, third at Sakubva Musika just near the traffic circle, fourth at Moffat Hall near Paulington Post Office and the fifth near the flyover adjacent NRZ premises. During school holidays you get a sixth one at Mutare Teachers College. What is more worrying is that in some cases if you are stopped you are issued with more that one ticket per vehicle and the spot fines can be more than US$100. If it is security and safety, why should we have roadblocks almost after every one kilometre or less? The fact is that Zanu PF government is using the Police to raise money to compensate for closed industries in as much as Zimra wants to visit mupedzanhamo to ensure SMEs register for tax payment. Zanu PF destroyed industries and now they are using the police to raise money. The ZRP officers are also stealing through that. A herdboy sent to herd cattle will not go hungry so long as there are cows with milk.Mzembi wants to fool us. He knows the strategy and he is trying to fool us. He is talking of a survey done in January, why did he not act on that? One of the reasons he lost the Unwito seat is because of ZRP on our roads demanding bribes especially from foreigners.
    Some locals now prefer to leave vehicles at home and use public transport because of ZRP. If you do not wash your car you are given a spot fine, what for?

  24. Chokwadi VaMuzembi chimbozamai tione coz aaaah tavavasungwa chaiwo tiri kuhze kwejeri

  25. No civilized country has as many roadblocks as Zimbabwe.

    No civilized country has half as many roadblocks as Zimbabwe.

    No civilized country has 1/10 as many roadblocks as Zimbabwe.

    Why are there so many roadblocks in Zimbabwe.

  26. i can tell you that even during the war roadblocks never went near 30% of what we have today.its really bad the home affairs minister is just trying to defend a rotten egg.

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