Transport operators and motorists have urged the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers to discharge their duties professionally and transparently, following the announcement on Monday that the force had resumed its constitutional duties.
People who spoke to The Herald yesterday urged the police to stop harassing motorists at roadblocks.
Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) secretary-general Mr Ngoni Katsvairo said: “They should be professional and concentrate on issues that bring safety on the roads. Such issues like checking the roadworthiness of vehicles, overloading and the requisite documents of drivers, among others.
“They should not create congestion by concentrating on petty issues.” Mr Katsvairo said the police should learn to engage transport operators and help reduce road carnage. Kombi drivers echoed the same sentiments.
Readers of The Herald online also exhorted the police to be professional.
One of the readers said: “Police should start cooperating with the people because it has been letting us down. Paroad apo please musatiitawo varanda munyika yedu.” Another reader under the name Kwangwari Gwayendepi said: “It is a shame we felt normal with no police presence on our roads. Now they are going to try to make-up for lost time. Have your wallets ready.”
Another reader under the name Mukaranga said: “I am eager to see a completely reformed ZRP taking notes and instructions from ZDF’s brief stint on our roads. We don’t want an enslaving ZRP. Gutsikanayi nepay yamunowana just like all other underpaid Zimbabweans.
“No to excessive force and roadblocks! Don’t kill our new Independence.”
Another suggested the removal of “overzealous” cops from roadblocks.
“A welcome development, but the overzealous officers should be removed from roadblocks,” said the reader. “Why should those who are supposed to be manning offices be out on roadblocks fining motorists for trivial issues like a 0.005 cm short reflectors.
“Instead of educating motorists, police officers were harassing motorists. They had become very insensitive to the plight of motorists and very confrontational as evidenced by the spikes each officer was carrying. To them, every motorist and passenger was a criminal worse than robbers and thieves. By the way, was the money being accounted for by Treasury? The roadblocks, especially on the national roads, e.g. Beitbridge-Harare Road and Nyamapanda were now an impediment to the ease of doing business.
“Roadblocks should be there, but to have a roadblock after every five or 10 kilometres is not okay. Each station had its own roadblocks. Along Nyamapanda Road, you had roadblocks 10 kilometres before Murewa turn-off and a kilometre just after Murewa turn-off. From which station where these officers? The police should not be the industry for the Government. We have zimra.”
In a joint statement with the army on Monday, ZRP spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the appointment of President Emmerson Mnangagwa had set a new trajectory for the country.
She assured the nation that the ZRP was now assuming its role as stipulated in the Constitution of Zimbabwe under Section 219, which, among other things, mandates the ZRP to maintain law and order, protect and secure lives and property of the people.
ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi said they played complementary roles with other security agencies in the defence and maintenance of law and order in the country.