Identifying genuine traffic police officers is likely to be difficult for motorists as it emerged that expelled policemen and unscrupulous people were mounting illegal roadblocks using spikes to collect cash from unsuspecting people. According to police, there was a “fifth column” that masqueraded as police officers in a bid to tarnish the image of the force.
Police said they were investigating such cases in the city and urged members of the public suspicious of any group of people mounting roadblocks to contact them on hotlines (04) 748836, (04) 777651, (04) 703631 or any nearest police station.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said police would soon apprehend the criminals.
“Wherever they are, we are coming for them. Already, we have busted some of these criminal elements and we are grateful to members of the public for providing information to the police. We are equally grateful to the courts for ensuring that the culprits are kept away from society.
“So far, there are some bogus police officers who have appeared before the courts and one has been convicted and is now serving a jail term. Currently, three men are in police custody helping with investigations for similar offences,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
olice have arrested people in Harare who were allegedly printing fake national identity documents and the suspects will appear in court soon. In a statement yesterday, the Registrar-General’s Office said the system was alert to any shenanigans.
“The Registrar-General security got a tip off about criminals who are printing fake national identity documents and sought the assistance of the police to arrest the culprits,” the RG’s office said.
“The culprits were indeed arrested and are in police custody. The Registrar-General (Mr Tobaiwa Mudede) recently had workshops in Harare and Bulawayo on document fraud, encouraging individuals and the corporate world to verify with the department on any civil registration document whose authenticity they are not satisfied with.”
A Kadoma man has been arrested for attempting to sell his eight-year-old daughter to a Chivhu businessman for ritual killing.
Tapiwa Vhutani (27) of Kumboedza Farm in Kadoma was arrested after he continuously pestered businessman Obert Juru – son to Bishop Ollah Juru – that he was selling his daughter for $12 000.
Vhutani appeared before Magistrate Winfilda Tiyatara at Chivhu Magistrate Court last week facing allegations of “conspiracy to commit murder”, contravening Section 188 (1) (b) as read with section 47 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, chapter 9:23.
He was remanded in custody to this Tuesday.
According to state papers, Vhutani was trapped and arrested on the spot by the Chivhu Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police while attempting to hand over his daughter to another team of law enforcement agents who posed as potential buyers.
In his statement to the police which was presented in court, Vhutani said he had heard through the media that there are people from South Africa who buy children for killing to enhance business fortunes.
Nearly 360 police officers were suspended from duty last year for various acts of misconduct, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Obedingwa Mguni has said. He said this in the National Assembly last week while responding to questions from legislators.
“When the police officers are trained and deployed on the ground, some are doing other things that are not according to the police policy as a force, which they need to be disciplined on,” said Deputy Minister Mguni.
“The disciplining mechanism which is there in the police has actually seen the suspension of 357 police officers last year who had been doing other things that are outside their working scope.
Therefore, it is also the duty of the public to understand what is expected from a policeman so that if that police officer commits something outside the working scope, he has to be reported so that we deal with the police office.”
Deputy Minister Mguni said training standards of the police remained high and professional. A number of police officers have been arrested for receiving bribes, especially at roadblocks.
THE issue of spot fines will soon be a thing of the past as police are now implementing new technologies to deal with offending motorists, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni has said.
He told Parliament on Wednesday that police would soon be doing away with receipt books at road blocks.
Cde Mguni was responding to a question by Bulawayo Metropolitan MP Dorothy Ndlovu who had asked why motorists are detained by police demanding spot fines, yet motorists would not be carrying cash and police do not have swipe machines.
“There is a new company which has come to change the way in which the police are operating so that they do not carry any receipt books. We now have a machine which will enable a vehicle’s number plates to be scanned.
“The person would state the owner of the vehicle, a slip will be printed to enable the person even though he does not have cash on him to approach the nearest police camp and pay,” said Cde Mguni.
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has said the use of spikes at roadblocks is a necessary defence for traffic police officers who risk being run over by unruly motorists amid claims that at least 36 officers were either killed or injured on the country’s roads last year.
Dr Chihuri said the practice was not exclusive to the Zimbabwe Republic Police. He was responding to an application by human rights activist Mr Okay Machisa to have the use of spikes to deflate vehicles at roadblocks declared unconstitutional.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said the practice was justified and was supported by a section of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which provides for the use of minimum force. The police chief said spikes were used cautiously and only in extreme cases.
The use of spikes, according to Comm-Gen Chihuri, was an effective traffic enforcement method internationally and in Zimbabwe it is governed by police reference and source books used in police training and police operations.
Last month Zimbabwe Human Rights Association director Mr Machisa filed an application at the High Court challenging the constitutionality of police using spikes at roadblocks, saying the practice had the potential of damaging property, injuring or killing people.
Female “rapists” have resurfaced following recent reported cases in which two men were sexually assaulted after they were offered lifts by seven women in two separate incidents in Harare.National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the incidents and said investigations were in progress. “On May 27, 2017 at around 4pm, the complainant, aged 37, boarded a blue Nissan Bluebird at the Coca-Cola bus stop along Seke Road intending to go to Chitungwiza.
“The vehicle had three occupants, comprising one male who was the driver and two female passengers. On boarding the vehicle, the complainant was joined by another female adult,” he said.
He said along the way, the driver claimed he wanted to evade a police roadblock and diverted the route and used Delport Road so he could reconnect with Seke Road farther down. “On the way, one of the females who had boarded the vehicle together with the complainant, drew what appeared to be a pistol and force-marched the complainant into a bushy area along Delport Road.
“One of the females forced the complainant to have sexual intercourse with him without his consent while another female accused forced the complainant to drink an unknown liquid which left the complainant unconscious,” Chief Supt Nyathi said. In a related incident, a man boarded a white Toyota Noah with five unknown accused persons from Beatrice to Harare last week.
Along the way, the man was offered a drink by one of the female suspects and he became unconscious after drinking it. “When the complainant gained consciousness he discovered that he had been abused.
“We would like to urge members of the public to be on the lookout for a group of men and women who are giving unsuspecting victims transport and end up abusing them,” Chief Supt Nyathi said.
Mbare Police Dog Section based at Waterfalls Police Station have arrested five armed robbers and recovered knives, knobkerries and axes that were used to attack residents in the suburb at night.
Police said the five were robbing people along Northway and Ceres Roads in Waterfalls. National chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, confirmed the arrests.
In a statement, she identified the robbers as Victor Mubaiwa (38) of number 20 Overspill Epworth, Norman Muchemwa (38) of number 11B Matererini Flats Mbare, Bernard Kurira (34) of number 8B Matererini Flats, Moffat Phiri (34) and Joshua Mutizirwa (38) of block 5A Matererini Flats.
Police instituted investigations, which led to the recovery of weapons such as knobkerries, chisel, four okapi knives and two Samsung galaxy cellphones.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba urged members of the public who may have fallen prey to the suspects to proceed to ZRP Waterfalls and identify their belongings.
Six other armed robbers appeared in court on Monday, where it was revealed they killed four people and left eight others seriously injured in Hatcliffe and Kuwadzana in Harare and in Ruwa during their reign of terror.
POLICE and members of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) have received their bonuses as Government sticks to its schedule on the payment of bonuses.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira confirmed the latest development.
The Minister said bonuses were paid last week on Thursday. She said Government remains committed to ensuring that civil servants were paid in the same month worked.
Minister Mupfumira said first to get their 13th cheque last month were members of the Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe and those in the health sector. Teachers will get their bonuses in June and the rest of the civil service will be paid in August.
POLICE have said infidelity and jealousy among couples has led to the increase in murder cases countrywide, most of them fuelled by abuse of social media.
National police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba expressed concern over couples killing each other saying social media abuse among couples has resulted in the increase of the crimes.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba could not immediately release statistics of the murders, but said the increase in the cases was disturbing. She said dangerous weapons are being used in these crimes.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba encouraged couples and family members to seek counselling services instead of resorting to violence.
Enkundleni/Padare Men’s Forum programme officer Mr Ziphongezipho Ndebele said social media gadgets and platforms have contributed in exposing cheating couples.
He said generally men are jealous and cannot stomach their partners’ cheating resulting in some of them turning violent on their spouses.
POLICE are lobbying the Attorney General’s Office to ensure that the mandatory sentence for stock theft is increased from nine to 30 years per beast, with theft of a chicken attracting a five year mandatory sentence.
Addressing villagers from Mayobodo area in Mangwe District last Friday, national anti-stock theft coordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza said they were also lobbying for a 20 year jail sentence for theft of a goat or donkey and five year jail term for theft of a chicken.
He said they submitted a letter to the AG’s office with their recommendations.
Snr Asst Comm Makodza raised concern that some thieves were being sentenced to only nine years after stealing more than one beast.
Harare’s Mayor has condemned the ludicrous number of police roadblocks in Harare and the terrible state of the roads as being painful to residents, and a deterrent to tourism. While presenting his second State Of The City address last month, Manyenyeni described the efforts between the ZRP and council’s Trafficable Roads Team as disjointed.
“Allow me to share the grief of the excessive number of roadblocks mounted by the ZRP in the city. This is one of the most annoying aspects of living in Harare. The pain of the roadblocks is widely shared in our communities and has been exported by visitors to further de-market and derail tourism in the city and in the country,” he said.
Motorists in Harare complain that despite their best efforts to comply they are forced to pay fines at the steadily increasing number of police stops popping up at almost every turn. It is becoming so bad that at times traffic fines can exceed the already high costs of running and maintaining a vehicle. What’s more, motorists can be detained for hours while police try to extort cash from them. This keeps them away from work, and paying fines after long waits carries direct and indirect economic consequences for the individual and the economy at large.
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