Massive Corruption Scandal Uncovered at Bulawayo Traffic West Police Station
19 June 2024
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Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – A corruption scandal has been unearthed at the Bulawayo Traffic West Police Station, implicating numerous officers from the highest ranks down to the junior staff. According to an alarming letter addressed to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and other top officials, including Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Police Services Godwin Matanga, extensive bribery and corrupt practices have been taking place.

The letter outlines a systematic corruption network where officers, starting from the Officer in Charge and his lieutenants, receive daily bribes amounting to R2,500 from various traffic enforcement teams. These teams, each led by an Assistant Inspector, are accused of collecting bribes from desperate motorists, especially minibus taxi drivers, at numerous points around Bulawayo.

Key locations mentioned include Luveve Road Flyover, Khami Road Flyover, Sizane Turn-off near White City Stadium, Entumbane Robots opposite Entumbane Complex, Premier Private Secondary School, and Nyamandlovu Turn-off. The modus operandi involves senior touts collecting R50 from each minibus taxi and writing down their registration numbers. This list is then given to the police officers who use it to screen and arrest non-compliant drivers.

The bribery operations reportedly peak during weekends, with collections made on Saturdays and checkpoints manned on Sundays when anti-corruption oversight is minimal. Motorists who refuse to pay bribes face vehicle impoundment and hefty fines ranging from USD$100 to USD$150, depending on their capacity to pay.

A disturbing aspect of the scandal is the involvement of officers in civilian attire who are not listed in the deployment books, specifically tasked with collecting bribe money. The letter claims that these officers share the collected bribes equally, while ensuring that R500 is reserved for their superiors.

The accusations extend to the lavish lifestyles of the implicated officers, who allegedly own luxury vehicles such as Toyota Hilux, BMW, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Aqua, and Honda Fit Hybrid, funded through their corrupt activities. They are also said to own multiple properties and send their children to expensive schools, despite the Zimbabwe Police Service’s clear stance against officers engaging in illegal transport businesses.

The letter calls for an immediate lifestyle audit of the implicated officers and suggests that their prolonged tenure at the station has contributed to the entrenched corruption. It urges President Mnangagwa to take decisive action by firing all officers stationed at Bulawayo Traffic West to prevent the further spread of corrupt practices.

This revelation highlights the ongoing challenges in combating corruption within Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agencies and calls for swift and transparent investigations to restore public trust.

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