Mashonaland Central police boss, Assistant Commissioner David Mahoya has ordered the arrest of his subordinates engaging in corrupt activities including demanding bribes from motorists passing through COVID-19 checkpoints.
By Richard Muponde/ Simbarashe Sithole
In a leaked memo dated April 8 seen by NewsDay, Mahoya said all offending officers and motorists would be brought to book.
“It has been observed with concern that some police officers in police uniform are now being used as passes at roadblocks and checkpoints by some motorists who may want to do their business in cities and towns. Such motorists pay police officers a fee so that they are waved through the roadblocks and checkpoints,” he said.
“In the same vein, some members manning the roadblocks and checkpoints are also demanding bribes in United States dollars from motorists so that they get free passage when, in fact, they don’t fall under the essential service.”
Mahoya said supervisors should ensure operatives at roadblocks and checkpoints scrutinize and question all civilian vehicles with police officers in uniform to establish the purpose of the trip and whether the member would be on duty or not.
“Where the trip or purpose is not exempted under the lockdown regulations, the vehicles should be ordered to return or (occupants) arrested. Supervisors of the roadblocks should be vigilant so that such acts of corruption are detected and stopped,” he said.
The senior police officer also ordered that disciplinary action be instituted against members who abuse the police uniform or demand bribes in order to let vehicles through.
The matter comes barely a week after a public outcry over police brutality and bribe-seeking behaviour by security officers enforcing the lockdown order.