GOVERNMENT has lambasted both the police officers and the Zimbabwe National Raods Administration (ZINARA staffers at tollgates across the country for being dishonest, lazy and corrupt.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona reacted angrily in Parliament yesterday to reports that police officers seconded to maintain law and order at the tollgates mostly spend the entire shift basking in the sun or playing card games and drafts.
“Whenever we invite our colleagues to work together, those that are in the law enforcement and peace and security in Zimbabwe, we expect them to do their duties.
“We do not call police officers to be bystanders or to bask in the sun. They are there to ensure that there is peace and order that they also deal with offenders that want to bypass tollgates,” said Mhona.
He added that some cops at the tollgates were rude and not of any help to motorists seeking assistance. Mhona urged Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe to address the issue of police officers seconded to tollgates.
Mhona said dishonest ZINARA toll fee staffers create artificial challenges leading to long queues at tollgates. They then benefit from the chaos by pocketing fees from motorists willing to take a detour.
“We are having problems with people that are working for ZINARA who are enriching themselves,” Mhona bemoaned. “Majority of them are dishonest characters and are being weeded out.”
He said ZINARA now had inspectors going around the tollgates making impromptu checks against theft of the public funds.
Mhona said since 2018, Government has installed security cameras at the over 22 tollgates but some managers at ZINARA were resisting the technology for fear that it would expose their corruption.
“ZINARA was resisting some of the digitalisation of the institution. The delay at some tollgates is deliberate so as to create chaos and corrupt tendencies so that you start stealing money.
“They then create the detours and one will just be pocketing money. We are saying no to such practices and this is why we have seen that the performance of tollgates from Plumtree, Bulawayo and Mutare are very efficient and vibrant because the systems are intact and the cameras were actually mounted.
“But if you then go to the other tollgates that were there, about 22 of them, there were no cameras and one would just do willy nilly in terms of the work ethic.
“As we speak, we now have cameras on all our tollgates so that they monitor some of these activities which will then mirror and report to Head Office to say what is happening.”
Mhona added that some tollgates that erected in residential areas are set to be moved. The tollgates set to be relocated include Skyline, Dema, Lion’s Den, Umguza and Shamva.