MOST people in Harare are demanding the return of roadblocks, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, said.
Charamba claims her office has received numerous requests from people who now feel that ZRP traffic officers have abandoned their duties completely.
The notorious roadblocks had become the ZRP cash cow as officers resorted to brazen extortion, harassment and bullying but they, however, disappeared end of last year when the military intervened and ousted former president Robert Mugabe.
Addressing journalists at a workshop on Safety and Security in Gweru recently, Charamba stunned the scribes when she claimed that her office is now overwhelmed with calls for the return of ZRP mounted roadblocks.
“Right now if you go to Harare people are crying for road blocks; why? Because there is chaos in the central business district, its chaotic because of congestion, it’s now a jungle,” said the ZRP national spokesperson.
She added; “Roadblocks are part of our police side duties, we cannot completely do away with roadblocks, because now there is chaos and people have been complaining that the police is now behaving as if they don’t care.
She added, “People are saying ZRP now you have developed an attitude that shows that you no longer want to do your job.”
“Roadblocks when they are done objectively they are very important because we also curb chaos and reckless driving.”
Under ousted former president Mugabe and retired police boss Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe had become a police state with roadblocks being mounted anyhow. Traffic officers routinely demanded spot fines within a distance of less than a kilometre.
Foreign visitors often complained about heavy presence of ZRP officers on the roads and about being harassed with some vowing never to return or recommend people to travel to Zimbabwe.