Police have denied claims by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) that the two institutions were working together to hunt for corrupt traffic officers countrywide, particularly in Harare.
Corruption is said to be rife amongst Zimbabwe Republic Police traffic officers who, on a daily basis, are engaged in a cat and mouse game with commuter omnibus operators from whom they “extort” toll fees
In an interview with The Zimbabwe Mail, ZACC chairperson Denford Chirindo was evasive but seemed to confirm the existence of a collaborative project to stamp out run-away corruption in the force.
“I cannot deny or confirm. I can, however, tell you that our operatives are on the ground everyday fighting corruption. We do not havefigures of those who have been arrested for corruption,” said Chirindo.
However, police national spokesperson Charity Charamba reacted angrily to the claims.
“We have our own internal measures to deal with corruption. They cannot walk around claiming we have a joint programme. As police we have anti-corruption measures and these claims from ZACC that we are working together are false,” Charamba said.
Traffic police officers manning the country’s roads have been fingered in rampant corruption and motorists have complained of extortion from the law enforcement agents.
Deputy president Joice Mujuru has also shown her exasperation with the depths of graft in the police force.
She told a graduation and prize-giving ceremony of agritex officers last year.
“We don’t want to hear this thing that is happening at our roadblocks. When you get to a roadblock you are told “old man”, can you come out of your car so we can discuss? No, I am saying this is not indigenisation,” Mujuru said. “When we say indigenisation we don’t mean that if you are a hospital clerk you should over charge patients and say it is indigenisation.”
According to the results of the Transparency International Zimbabwe 2012 corruption index report, the highest cases of bribery in Zimbabwe involve the police, the Registrar Generals Office, judiciary and land services.
Meanwhile despite Charamba denying that they were working with ZACC insiders told The Zimbabwe Mail that combined efforts between the police and ZACC have yielded little results hence the negative energybetween the two government institutions.