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'Army, police receiving lockdown bribes'

by Staff reporter
28 May 2020 at 08:07hrs | Views
MEMBERS of the military and police countrywide are reportedly receiving cash bribes from lockdown violators during deployment, findings by a regional civic society group have revealed.

The research was done by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA), a non-political non-governmental organisation registered in Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2004, to campaign against corruption.

In a 31-page report, the anti-corruption watchdog said army and police officers jointly deployed to enforce the lockdown rules were pocketing cash bribes from offenders of the "stay at home" measures in return for their protection from prosecution.
Municipal officers, as well as district development co-ordinators (DDCs), have also been implicated in the alleged scam.

According to the report, researches were done in major cities by way of utilising the organisation's countrywide networks to gather both primary and secondary sources of data.

"A research conducted by ACTSA has confirmed that ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) officers, soldiers, and municipal police are soliciting for bribes in exchange for giving a blind eye to violations of the COVID-19 regulations as well as helping all those arrested to enjoy freedom," the report read in part.

"Also implicated in corruption are the offices of DDCs countrywide.

"ACT-SA has shown in its report that the lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, pursuant to the public health prevention, containment and treatment (national lockdown order, 2020), has unfortunately and shamefully presented an environment ripe for public corruption."

The organisation's findings showed that corruption mostly among police officers had surpassed the era of former Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.

"What is clear from these recent developments is that the Commissioner-General of Police (Godwin Matanga) is still harbouring corrupt ZRP officers," the report further read.

"This lockdown has exposed the endemic nature of corruption in the police similar to the levels, even exceeding the levels it had reached during the Augustine Chihuri era."

The report added: "We have also observed that corrupt ZRP officers solicit for bribes that are less than the gazetted fines. That's how these corrupt public officials lure their clients to pay the bribes. The heavy fines are actually being used as bait by these corrupt officials. Accused persons thus prefer to save money by paying bribes instead of paying those heavy fines. If they were lower, accused persons would simply pay the fines without any problem."

Source - newsday