At least five police officers based at Ngundu are accused of demanding between $200 and $300 bribes per day from bus operators to allow free passage of their buses along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway. The officers normally target buses that ply the Harare-Beitbridge route and most of the operators are accused of being involved in smuggling syndicates.
Over 23 buses ply the route on a daily basis.
Police sources said the five officers were from different sections in the force, but when they hold roadblocks they claim to be from the Border Control Unit.
“Most of these buses don’t cross the border into South Africa, but they ply the Harare-Beitbridge route and they are being targeted on a daily basis by some of our colleagues,” said a police source.
“The bus crew will have to fork out amounts ranging between $200 and $300 on a daily basis.
“If they don’t pay up, then life becomes difficult for them.”
Some of the operators who preferred anonymity for fear of being victimised confirmed that they were losing cash to the officers.
“We would want to urge their commanders to look into such issues and bring some of these culprits to book,” said one of the operators.
The operators alleged that other buses would also fork out amounts ranging between $20 and $30 at different spots between Ngundu and Beitbridge where roadblocks are manned by traffic police officers.
In August 2016, Government redeployed close to 500 police officers who were at different stations in Beitbridge District to other stations countrywide, amid allegations of failure to deliver their duties.
Sources in the border town said only officers from the Police Protection Unit were spared from the massive redeployment.
In January 2014, 33 traffic police officers at Avondale Police Station in Harare, including the officer-in-charge, were transferred to other bases allegedly because of intolerable corruption levels.
In 2010, about 78 officers at the police station were transferred after their bosses got fed up with their conduct.