If you want to know what it’s like to be stopped at Zimbabwe’s roadblocks, here’s your answer. Be warned: it may not make you want to book a holiday up north.
Harare – If you want to know what it’s like to be stopped at Zimbabwe’s roadblocks, here’s your answer. Be warned: it may not make you want to book a holiday up north.
In this video posted to YouTube, a tourist driving an SA-registered vehicle filmed himself getting stopped at multiple police checkpoints as he drives across the southern African country.
Watch the video below.
Foreign-registered vehicles aren’t supposed to be subject to the same stringent (and constantly changing requirements) for vehicle equipment, which includes reflector strips of a particular length and fire extinguishers secured in a particular way.
At each roadblock the tourist explains that that was the assurance given by “Sergeant-Major Khupe” from Victoria Falls. He also demands to see each police officer’s ID, which hardly any are willing to give him. Sometimes he gives up arguing and just drives off.
“You say we need reflectors. This is a foreign-registered car. We do not need them. We know that. Everyone knows that,” he says at one checkpoint, later adding: “Everyone wants to fine us 20 dollars, 40 dollars, 100 dollars.”
Near the end of the video, the driver is involved in an altercation with an officer as he is made to get out of the car.
Police roadblocks occur with astonishing frequency in Zimbabwe, sometimes as many as four in a 14km stretch. There are fears that foreign tourists are seen as an “easy target” by revenue-hungry officers because they do not always know their rights.
The video has been viewed more than 19 000 times since it was posted on February 5 – but there’s also been criticism of the driver’s “cockiness”.
“His attitude is condescending. When you are stopped by the police in any country, you comply,” commented one viewer. Another said: “The police were very gentle with this guy?”
Did the tourist behave badly?
What do you think?