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Zimbabwe Traffic Police Bankrupting Kombi Operators

Some commuter ominibus operators plying the Chitungwiza-Harare route, who temporarily withdrew their services Monday protesting increased police road blocks and demands for hefty bribes, say most of them are now failing to run their businesses.

The operators told VOA Studio 7 Tuesday that police, who normally demand $5 and above from each commuter operator per trip, are threatening to impound their vehicles if they do not pay the bribes.

One of the affected commuter ominibus drivers Tendai James said the situation is so bad that most commuter operators are being driven out of business by the hefty bribes.

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Efforts to get comment from the national traffic police were fruitless as their phones were not being answered.

Meanwhile, Chitungwiza resident Livingstone Chodokufa said residents are now facing a critical shortage of transport due to skirmishes between the police and kombi operators.

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Chitungwiza residents are also bemoaning the bad state of the roads urging the government to task the Anti-Corruption Commission to investagate the corrupt traffic police manning road blocks nationwide.

"This will reduce corruption and help in ensuring that the money collected illegally by the police is channelled towards treasury for national purposes," said Chodokufa.

Chodokufa said police should refrain from issuing spot fines as that system is open to abuse.

Police have over the years been accused of setting up roadblock to solicit for bribes from motorists, especially commuter omnibus operators.