by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, has come under heavy criticism for defending the setting up of roadblocks nationwide.
The roadblocks have been denounced by many as a ploy by police to rip off motorists for trumped up offences and have been blamed for causing delays as well as impacting on the tourism sector.
Chihuri, the long-serving police chief, has accused critics of the facilities as having “bitter mouths” and overlooking the good the roadblocks had achieved in terms of safety and security.
“People have bitter mouths! Your only want to talk about bad things without acknowledging the good things that are being done,” Chihuri said.
This has incurred the wrath of the public accusing Chihuri of lacking touch with challenges motorists are facing.
“Our police commissioner is either living in a different planet or else he spoke the way he did simply because roadblocks do not directly affect him, the elite, ministers and President Robert Mugabe. If he knew what the general public was going through, he would not have uttered such unwelcome statements,” said motorist Zivanai Mushunje.
A motorist challenged the logic of erecting many roadblocks between Mbudzi round-about and the nearby Harare city centre.
“Imagine from Mbedzi roundabout to the city centre, a distance of about 8km you see five roadblocks! What for? This is total dictatorship to impose curfew on innocent citizens,” said the motorist from Southlea Park.
Earlier this year, tourism minister Walter Mzembi pleaded with relevant authorities to reduce the number of roadblocks arguing they were causing unnecessary delays to potential tourists and travellers.
“The concern is about excessive presence of police,” Mzembi earlier said.
– CAJ News