‘Cops undergo training to smile at roadblocks’

Source: ‘Cops undergo training to smile at roadblocks’ – DailyNews Live

Mugove Tafirenyika      21 July 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe is conducting a training programme for police officers
to smile more habitually at roadblocks in the hopes of winning over
tourists visiting the country’s holiday resorts.

Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni told the National Assembly
that Zimbabwe’s hospitality agency is conducting training sessions to make
police friendlier toward visitors.

Mguni was responding to a question by MDC MP for Chitungwiza North Godfrey
Sithole who wanted to know the progress police had made in the reduction
of roadblocks.

He said “notable” movement had been made so far especially on the
Bulawayo-Harare and Harare-Masvingo highways.

“The problem now is the attitude of the officers.  They (tourism
stakeholders) are happy with the reduction of roadblocks and they now want
to change the attitude of the officers.

“We made a deal that Zimbabwe Tourism Association will help us in training
our police force.  We have one group that has gone through.  Other groups
are also going to be trained.

“I think we cannot completely do away with police on the road.  There
should be visibility but now we need to change the officers’ attitude.
They have to go for client diplomatic service.

“When we hear the motorists saying that the roadblocks are too much, we go
and check.  We are still in the process.  We will not stop until everybody
is satisfied,” Mguni said.

International tourists and local motorists have complained of too many
roadblocks which they said had become extortionate.

Parliament and tourism associations have also added their voices to the
issue with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month calling Home
Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo to have dialogue with his Tourism
counterpart Walter Mzembi, to try and find a lasting solution to the
roadblocks menace.

In its half year end report on roadblocks, a copy which is in the hands of
the Daily News, police made nearly $14 million while also complaining that
their many roadblocks had increased to the extent of making them fail to
meet daily targets.

For those first six months of 2017, police made a million arrests for
various traffic offences.