Roadblocks Going Nowhere
A few months ago, Deputy Prime Minister Authur Mutambara declared that government would be reducing roadblocks in Zimbabwe after an outcry from the public including a strike by kombi drivers.
Not only that. The Home Affairs Secretary, Melusi Matshiya told a the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, that the police were free to use force including smashing windows and shooting tires of public transport vehicles going against a statement back then which said that it was not right. In fact we had been told that in the event of something like that happening, we were free to report the instances to the, erm, police.
The good Secretary added that the road blocks were necessary to prevent accidents, which is a bit of a laugh given the amount of horrific accidents that have taken place recently.
While the Secretary Matshiya probably made sense in his head, on the ground people know that you have to carry that little bit extra in cash for a smooth journey. Not that you will be doing anything dodgy but if the police wants a bribe he will find something to make you pay for.
Look at it this way, most dreadlocked people will tell you that they, have been stopped and made subject to search simply because they have locks. And when nothing is found, the police still want to find something else. Thankfully, there is always one among the three who has some common sense.
While the people want to have confidence in the force, statements like these are hardly helpful. We are thankful for the police but we are at times afraid of them too.
With sources from Newsday.