Bridget Mananavire 3 April 2017
HARARE – Zimbabwean motorists have launched a campaign against “abuse” by
the police on the country’s roads, with the road users planning to
petition Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo.
So far, the petition by the Road Users Association (RUA) Zimbabwe on March
22 has got 3 012 signatures by yesterday afternoon out of a target of 5
In the petition, RUA said, the campaign was created to ask Chombo and the
police to ensure that every member of the force upholds the Constitution.
“Have you been mistreated by ZRP at a roadblock? Over the years, we have
witnessed our constitutional freedoms and rights being infringed upon.
“Furthermore, many have experienced harassment, intimidation and the
incorrect application of the law by the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” the
“As the situation continues to deteriorate across the country we need
genuine reform within the ZRP.
“We respectfully ask the minister of Home Affairs, … Chombo and the
commissioner-general of the ZRP, … Augustine Chihuri to ensure that
every member of the ZRP upholds the constitutional freedoms and rights of
all Zimbabweans, respect the rule of law and fulfil their mandate to serve
and protect the citizens of Zimbabwe.”
Motorists also complained on the RUA website about how they had been
harassed by the police, with one Bettina Kelly saying her family was
relocating from Zimbabwe as a result of the abuse.
“Have been harassed more than once, the one time they even wanted to
arrest me for no reason and kept me at a roadblock for over an hour.
“We are moving away from Zimbabwe, due to this nonsense. They don’t seem
to understand that this chases tourism and potential visitors away,” Kelly
RUA is also spearheading a Constitutional Court application against
ill-treatment by members of the police force.
The organisation is also calling for people to submit affidavits sharing
their experiences at roadblocks.
“Let us prove to the Con-Court that the illegal treatment of motorists is
a national issue, that citizens across Zimbabwe are affected.
“We invite motorists who have had a first-hand experience of being treated
unfairly, from all areas of Zimbabwe and across all demographics, to come
“RUA’s legal representatives will assist you with the paperwork, at no
cost. Register your interest in submitting an affidavit,” the organisation
This comes as the presence of police on the country’s roads has been
blamed for diminishing number of tourists who visit the country.
According to a report released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency
(ZimStat) recently, 10 000 tourists complained about the police – with 500
of them promising never to return to the country again, citing harassment
by law enforcement agents.