Bulawayo Shakeup A Scam… Scapegoats Transferred While Corruption Runs Rampant
20 June 2024
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Reports of corruption in the police force in Zimbabwe is merely a tip of the iceberg. This letter aims to shed light on the pervasiveness of corrupt practices across various police departments in Bulawayo as a whole.

• Bulawayo Central Traffic (Drill Hall: Bribery schemes are happening at locations like Gwanda Road, with officers allegedly pocketing significant sums from motorists and impounded vehicles. A Ford Fiesta, driven by two sergeants male and female is mostly used in operations to extort oMalayitsha. In the city centre, a Mahindra, driven by Assistant Inspector Moyo, is used to impound kombis that are taken to Drill Halls where drivers are forced to part with US$100 which is shared among the inspectors. It is reported that every officer takes home S$200 at the end of the day. The Officer in charge and his lieutenants take the chunk of the money.This exemplifies extortion – extracting money through threats of fines or vehicle impoundment.
• Nkulumane Traffic Police Station is alleged to be involved in a scheme where officers set up roadblocks at Goldrich, Steel Works, Birkenhead, and Masiyephambili in the Nkulumane Complex area. They are accused of soliciting bribes of US$3 from each Honda Fi drivers and kombis. The money is then allegedly shared with the officer in charge and assistant inspectors.
• Of course the scandal also centres around the Bulawayo Traffic West Police Station, where officers, including the Officer in Charge and his ‘boys’ allegedly receive daily bribes – they get US$2 from every kombi and Honda Fit.
• The expose expands beyond traffic, alleging that Khumalo Station officers are involved in a scheme where they collect bribes from all bottle stores in town. This suggests a form of protection racket, where businesses are pressured to pay for the police to turn a blind eye to potential violations or simply to avoid harassment.
• There are also serious concerns about the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at Bulawayo Central Police Station, specifically CID VTS, CID Homicide, and CID CCD. These departments are tasked with serious criminal investigations, and corruption there undermines public trust in the justice system. It’s a fact that they tamper with investigations to protect individuals who pay bribes. They also demand bribes to pursue investigations or expedite casework.
• The allegations of corruption within Bulawayo’s law enforcement reach further with reports of Hillside Police Station setting up roadblocks at Machbinding to solicit bribes from motorists. This incident adds to the growing concern about a systemic issue within the city’s police force.

Corruption thrives under the watch of superiors:
This brazen corruption is allegedly happening right under the noses of senior leadership, including the Provincial and District Commanders including the Dispol-Traffic and her lieutenants. The lack of action from these officials raises serious concerns. They may be turning a blind eye because they themselves are benefiting from the ill-gotten gains, perhaps through kickbacks or a share of the collected bribes. This suspicion further erodes public trust and suggests a deeply entrenched system of corruption.

The stench of corruption within Bulawayo’s law enforcement isn’t just pervasive, it’s a carefully orchestrated mockery of justice. The recent “transfers” at Traffic West are a prime example.

The Officer in Charge of Traffic West who was tasked with investigating Drill Hall police for corruption is implicated in the very web of bribery he now claims to dismantle – he recommended a paltry six individuals be transferred. These scapegoats, led by S/M Chale, barely settled in from paying bribes for their coveted traffic department positions, are cast aside while the system that bred them remains untouched.

This is not reform, it’s a slap in the face. A mere six pawns sacrificed to maintain the illusion of accountability. The truth is far uglier. Corruption isn’t confined to a single station; it’s a disease that has infected the entire traffic department, and by the letter’s account, Bulawayo CID and Bulawayo license inspectorate as well.

These supposed guardians of the law raid unlicensed businesses, lining their pockets while simultaneously building extravagant lives fuelled by ill-gotten gains. They cruise in luxury vehicles, a stark contrast to the struggles of the very people they exploit.

The audacity is breath-taking. The silence from superiors, deafening. Where is the outrage? Where are the sweeping investigations? This is not a matter of a few bad apples; it’s a rotten orchard in desperate need of fumigation.

The public is not fooled. This blatant attempt to sweep the problem under the rug only serves to erode trust further. We demand a genuine commitment to purge the corruption, not a hollow performance of justice. We need a complete overhaul, a dismantling of the system that allows officers to enrich themselves at the expense of the citizenry.

Until then, the message is clear: Bulawayo’s law enforcement is not here to protect; it’s here to exploit. This cannot stand.