By Sheron Mirriam Tazvivinga
The Anti Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) has rapped the army and police in Kwekwe for demanding bribes from lockdown violators.
ACT SA Director Obert Chinhamo said the uniformed forces are receiving bribes from lockdown violators so as to allow them cheap passage into the Central Business District.
He however, noted that this is reckless behaviour in the face of a spike in Covid-19 cases across the country.
“Anti-corruption activists are reporting that police officers and soldiers are soliciting bribes in exchange for giving a blind eye to violations of the Covid-19 regulations. For instance, in several areas commuter omnibus operators are transporting people along major roads and they bribe their way through police checkpoints. In most cases, these operators will be fully packed violating social distancing. Travellers without travelling permits pay bribes to go wherever they want to go. It is thus not surprising that the number of infections and deaths are increasing. Action must be taken against these police officers and soldiers. Corruption is emerging as one of the factors leading to this increase in infections and deaths,” Chinhamo said.
He also implored the government to investigate the issue so as to reduce the spread of Covid 19 in the district.
“The management of the police and army, as well as Covid-19 Task forces at all levels, must take urgent action to address this. The activities of police and soldiers on the ground should be monitored and supervised. Failure which all the gains made against the Coronavirus pandemic will be reversed and the country may lose human lives,” he said.
He urged the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to investigate the matter and monitor the police personnel on roadblocks.
In June this year reports were made by ACT-SA that the army personnel deployed in Kwekwe were said to be allowing certain restaurants to operate in the CBD in exchange for free meals amid the lockdown ban.