BY Mutsa Makuvaza
OFFICERS from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) at a roadblock in Mashava, Masvingo province, have been widely praised after they turned down a bribe offer from armed robbers and seized a vehicle that had been stolen at gunpoint in Kadoma the previous day.
Harare resident Mr. Felix Chiroro lost his silver Volvo XC90 SUV in Kadoma to four armed robbers, who got away with cash, laptops and other valuables that were in the vehicle.
“One feels really robbed considering how much people invest to get vehicles nowadays, but from the very beginning I had full confidence that detectives would get on top of the situation,” said Mr. Chiroro, who reported his case at Battlefields Police Camp in Kadoma.
Mr. Chiroro described the police as having acted professionally and at times out of their own pockets to visit crime scene, make calls to tollgates and roadblocks around the country, and other investigative procedures.
“It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and paint every police officer in Zimbabwe as corrupt and cold-hearted. I lost my vehicle in an armed robbery near Kadoma, and walked into the Battlefields Police Camp to report.
“I don’t know anyone at Battlefields Police and they don’t know me as well, but I witnessed dedicated officers going as far as using own resources like cash, airtime etc to visit crime scene, make calls to tollgates and roadblocks around the country, and other investigative procedures,” a grateful Mr. Chiroro wrote on social media.
The incident took place on 27th August, near Empress turn-off, some 20km from Kadoma, along the Bulawayo-Harare highway. After he made his report, Mr. Chiroro says he witnessed detectives working overnight, at times using own resources, to try and corner the culprits.
He says the vehicle turned up at a roadblock the next day at 3:00AM at a roadblock in Mashava, some 35km from Masvingo along the Masvingo-Bulawayo highway.
“When my vehicle was recovered in Masvingo and I travelled there to collect it, I witnessed CID officers there showing so much dedication to duty as well. My fresh meat which was in the car had been placed in their refrigerators, as was my fresh greens and tomatoes etc.
“Not to mention the officers at the roadblock who refused a lucrative bribe from the robbers, snatched away the car keys and did justice to the case,” he says.
A detective at Mashava CID corroborated the story by Mr. Chiroro, saying that they turned down a US$50 bribe from the four criminals who had failed to produce relevant documents requested by enforcement officers at the roadblock.
“I’m not cleared to speak to the press, but I can tell you off the record that we indeed recovered a stolen Volvo SUV valued at US$15,000 at a roadblock on a Wednesday morning, around 3:00 AM. That’s all I can say,” said the detective, who requested anonymity.
Mr. Chiroro says the robbery has made him appreciate how dedicated some members of the police force in particular and civil servants in general are, despite their limited resources.
“This robbery case has made me appreciate better the challenges police face in discharging their Constitutional duties, and how crude it is to label them all sorts of names, especially without evidence.
“I’m melted away by such dedication to duty. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show as much dedication to those I interact with in my own little sphere of influence,” said Mr. Chiroro.
Responding to the story, Sam Salif said: “There are some officers who do a great job and are very professional in all they do. Vamwe vacho manje mmmmm they taint the name of the good ones.”
Another responder, Liberty Makusha, posted similar sentiments: “Our police officers are dedicated lot. I have close relatives who are cops. In general our people are hard workers, the only challenge is our govt that doesn’t pay them a living wage.
“Corruption at work emanates from poor remuneration hence someone needs to supplement that little they risk losing that job.”
Cases of armed robberies have been on the rise in recent months especially in Harare. – Zimbabwe Voice