21 traffic cops suspended over bribes
By Felex Share
Twenty-One traffic cops have been suspended from duty, while an undisclosed number has been dismissed for various offences, including taking bribes. National traffic police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome on Thursday said the move would help weed out corruption from the police force.
Chigome said those suspended will be charged under the Police Act and the Criminal Law Codification Act. The offences range from fraud and soliciting for bribes to demanding material things from motorists and members of public.
“It is a fact that corruption is rampant everywhere and as law enforcement agents we cannot watch while some of our members go against the law. We have to remove bad apples from the organisation.
“As of 15 August this year, 21 police officers are on suspension for cases that involve soliciting for bribes, especially at road blocks. The move came after the realisation that corruption is the country’s number one enemy and the police are not spared,” he said.
Insp Chigome, however, could not disclose the number of those dismissed, citing security reasons. The cops, he said, would be brought before a disciplinary hearing. After the hearings, the board of suitability will make its judgment.
“When suspended, the officers will not carry out normal police duties until the board of suitability decides on whether one should remain or be mustered from the force.
“Some are even held in police detention barracks. So we are saying officers found partaking in these criminal activities are doing it at their own peril and risk losing their jobs,” he said.
In the run-up to the June 2008 one-man presidential election, over 500 opposition supporters were killed by state security agents that included soldiers, police, CIO’s and members of the Zanu PF militia, not a single arrest was made.