From Senator Lilian Timveos
Alternative Minister and MDC Spokesperson for Home Affairs
POLICE ATTACKS ON KOMBIS DEPLORABLE
13 March 2014
Contacts: Mobile 263 779 701 082; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
The MDC is totally shocked by the disproportionate force used by the Zimbabwe Republic Police against commuter omnibus or Kombi crews.
We have noted over the past few months that the Police have adopted patently illegal, dangerous and heartless measures in their attempts to deal with the Kombis.
In the latest incident, 16 people were seriously injured in Bulawayo on Wednesday when Police threw spikes under a moving Kombi. The omnibus overturned, injuring all 16 people on board, four of them seriously.
Instead of taking action against the officers who endangered the lives of innocent people, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo blamed the driver for “negligence”, claiming he was under age and was speeding.
Even if the driver was guilty of the said offences, the police have no right to attempt to murder him, along with innocent passengers, as they attempted to do. They should have apprehended him in a legal way and taken him to court. This was a registered vehicle, whose owner could easily be tracked down using the vehicle’s registration numbers, and the suspect brought to book.
We are sure this was not about the Police trying to save innocent passengers, as they claim. Considering the amount of corruption pervading the Police, we cannot rule out suspicions that the officers were after bribes, hence their desperation to stop the allegedly speeding car.
The MDC demands a proper investigation into this incident and compensation for victims who were injured unnecessarily. We also demand an end to these operations, especially in Harare, where Police smash windscreens and damage or endanger vehicles in their attempts to punish the crews or owners.
The MDC implores the Government to revisit the spot fine system as it has created desperation among officers to treat roadblocks as money-spinning enterprises instead of ensuring public safety. Legal experts have pointed out that it is illegal to demand spot fines from drivers without giving them time to pay. Since these spot fines are kept and used at Police stations, this has created the feeling among some officers that raising as much money as possible for their station bosses is more important than actually regulating traffic. This is why defective vehicles or drivers without papers can continue to be on the roads. This has also created opportunities for looting of public funds by corrupt officers.