SOME Harare Municipal police are believed to be even pooling resources to fix tow trucks, when they break down, to ensure they extort motorists.
The corruption, in which motorists are being extorted by the municipal police, has reached sickening levels.
“It’s now such big businesses that when some of the tow trucks break down, some of the municipal cops pool resources together to get them fixed because when these trucks are not on the road, these cops have no way of making the money,” said sources.
“The challenge with Council is that it might take some time to fix the trucks because of the commitments that they have.
“But, to the cops, this means loss of regular income, which comes from the bribes they get from motorists and now we have this situation where they are fixing these trucks on their own.
“I don’t think this has happened anywhere else in the world.”
Several motorists have fallen victim to the corrupt officers’ demands after being threatened they will pay higher fees if they do not comply.
Some of the victims spoke to H-Metro.
“My car was clamped on Saturday along Herbert Chitepo just outside Harare Polytechnic, and the municipal police tried to swindle me by threatening that if I do not talk to them nicely, they would impound my car and take it to their Central Stores.
“They said since it was a weekend, they would only start the process of releasing the vehicle on Monday, which could take up to three days.
“In so doing, they told me I would pay US$155 for four or so nights storage.
“They demanded US$400 and I told them to take the vehicle instead, and eventually they let me go,” said a motorist.
Harare City Council spokesperson, Stanley Gama, said disciplinary action will be taken against any officers found taking or demanding bribes.
“We urge residents to report to the council whenever municipal officers demand or take bribes,” he said.
“The City takes these allegations seriously but for us to deal decisively with this issue, residents have to play a big part in making sure they expose such practices.
“The City does not condone corruption and the Mayor, Ian Makone, and the whole administration are preaching the anti-corruption gospel daily in the city council.
“Disciplinary action will be taken against any municipal police officer caught taking or demanding bribes from motorists, the City will investigate these allegations and appropriate action will be taken.”