Farayi Machamire 7 April 2017
HARARE – The Tourism and Hospitality industry yesterday led a large
cross-section of Zimbabweans in condemning a government directive that
empowers police to mount one roadblock within a 10 kilometers radius,
arguing that the ill-advised decision would fuel corruption on the
Curiously, police has actually increased roadblocks within the 10km zones
– a move which road users and ordinary Zimbabweans say flies in the face
of calls by lawmakers and tourism players to minimise roadblocks – which
they blame for driving away tourists and wasting productive hours.
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo recently said police had been
instructed to de-congest roadblocks through a directive which allowed one
roadblock within a 10km radius to promote ease of doing business.
But players in the tourism sector, motorists and analysts told the Daily
News yesterday that the new directive did not address their concerns and
instead would fuel corruption.
“As the hospitality industry, we still feel the initial solution cannot
resolve the difficulties faced by tourists on the road taking into
consideration that a journey to Bulawayo of 440km you will have 44 road
“Today (yesterday), I was travelling to Mutare I was shocked that in
Marondera town ZRP mounted five road blocks and these were within the 10km
“ZRP should also take instructions from the minister so that we become
hospitable in our roads. The police should also be taught customer care so
that they don’t harass people on the roads,” said Hospitality Association
of Zimbabwe president George Manyumwa.
A recent survey conducted by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat)
revealed that nearly
10 000 tourists rated police services as “very poor” with half of them
vowing never to visit the country again after enduring endless harassment
at many roadblocks.
“All provincial commanders have been instructed to submit their monthly
roadblock schedules to Police General Headquarters (Operations) to ensure
effective monitoring of deployments in line with the organisational policy
of erecting roadblocks at a distance of not less than 10km apart,” Chombo
“One-stop-shop roadblocks, which are multi-purpose, are being implemented
to avoid duplications. Increased supervision of deployed personnel is
going to be enhanced to correct any inconsistencies with policies and
However, this has not gone down well with motorists who have launched a
campaign against the police ahead of filing a Class action at the
“Whilst police are entitled to road blocks to maintain law and order in
terms of section 68 of the Constitution, their actions have to be
reasonable, proportionate and fair,” former Cabinet minister and Road
Users Association (RUA) lawyer, David Coltart told the Daily News.
“Setting up a roadblock in every 10km radius is not reasonable or
proportional to maintaining law and order. In fact the numerous road
blocks are a direct violation of section 66 which says every Zimbabwean
and anyone living in Zimbabwe has a right to move freely in Zimbabwe.”
RUA is intensifying its fight against police to the extent that it has
asked people to submit affidavits sharing their experiences at roadblocks.
The public outcry comes as stone-broke government has increased traffic
spot fines by nearly 100 percent, in a controversial move it claims will
reduce road accidents.