Police, kombi war worries Parliamentarians

HARARE - Police running battles with errant commuter omnibus drivers was one of the topical issues in Parliament this week with legislators querying why the law enforcement agents were smashing kombi windscreens.

They argued that such actions resulted in the deaths of drivers, pedestrians and passengers.

Zanu PF MP for Mutasa South Irene Zindi started the debate in Parliament during minister’s question time asking the Home Affairs minister to clarify the matter.

“I need  to find out what is the long-term policy by the ministry in resolving the running battles which are taking place between members of the police and the commuter omnibuses, smashing windscreens and in the process losing lives,” said Zindi.

Deputy minister of Home Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi defended the police action saying most of the commuter drivers were flouting road traffic laws.

“We don’t have a policy which says our police officers should smash windscreens. In terms of policy there is no policy like that. However, I want to say as a ministry, police look at case by case and deal with them according to due process as reported. The kombi drivers are flouting traffic laws and police will move in to enforce the law,” said Ziyambi.

He added that; “We know that our road infrastructure is not conducive because of the increase in traffic volumes, it is very difficult for our police officers to man the roads and effectively police our cities.

“As a result you will find here and there, they are mishaps which may happen, but we are taking all necessary efforts to ensure that our police officers carry out their duties according to the Constitution, ”said Ziyambi.

MDC MP Willas Madzimure urged Ziyambi to explain what action was being taken concerning the unprofessional behaviour of police in dealing with motorists at roadblocks.

“Minister, are you saying that you are not aware that police officers at roadblocks now stop cars using baton sticks? Are you not also aware or have not seen that almost all kombi windscreens are smashed? Are you denying that people have died because of the smashes and chases?” asked Madzimure.

Ziyambi said the police will be doing their jobs and people needed to report to police stations if they witness any cases of police smashing the windows or disrupting traffic movement on the roads.

The matter was raised again on Thursday by Senator Rorina Muchiwa and Chief Fortune Charumbira demanding explanation on the behaviour of police on the roads.

Ziyambi said commuter drivers were to blame as they were driving kombis without the required documentation and vehicle fitness certificates.

“Most of the times it is the commuter drivers who are causing the road accidents and the police are moving in to control the traffic chaos. I know that the kombi drivers are a mischievous lot as some of them are under-age drivers.

“However, if you see a road block with two police officers you should report it to nearest police station and we can check on the authenticity of the road block because we have not authorised a road block with less than  three police officers,” said Ziyambi.

Ziyambi also defended the spot fines and said they were to continue as most of the motorists were giving false addresses to the police when asked for identification so that they can be issued with tickets to pay up their fines.

He said as the country prepares for the festive season many police details were going to be deployed on the roads to maintain order and their running battles with the commuter drivers was to intensify.

Defence forces

Nelson Chamisa MDC legislator asked whether the defence forces were also being taught to understand the Constitution to avoid violating human rights as the MPs were not happy with the way they were behaving.

“What is being done to equip our security forces in the context of the question that was asked by police to equip them with the Bill of rights and understanding the new constitution?”said Chamisa.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said that his ministry was in the process of translating the Constitution into vernacular languages so that it can be understood by the public.

He said that they were also working on setting up multiple committees within his ministry to teach the public service and security forces on the new Constitution, but their efforts were hamstrung by lack of resources to carry out the programme.

Komichi granted appeal

Meanwhile, MDC Senator Morgan Komichi was granted leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence by High Court judge Amy Tsanga.

Komichi is a senior MDC member and the party’s deputy national chairperson.

He was being represented by Alec Muchadehama

Komichi was serving a community service sentence of performing 350 hours of community service at Mabelreign clinic.

He was convicted of breaching electorate act and fined $300.

The Senator was doing community service and had done four weeks of his sentence. During serving his sentence he was not attending parliamentary proceedings.

Komichi had stayed for three months in remand prison from July 28 to November 7, 2013.

While doing his community service he had to ask for time to attend the parliamentary sessions from the authorities who were supervising him at Mabelreign clinic.

Both houses adjourned to January 28, 2014.


Comments (15)

It is unfortunate that the deputy minister of home affairs is completely out of touch with the going ons involving kombi drivers and the police. He should dsiguise himslef and observe the going ons at any kombi rank and his eyes will be opened.

mambo - 8 December 2013

"As a result you will find here and there, they are MISHAPS which may happen", SERIOUSLY, referring to someone's death as a mishap. Chokwadi murombo haarovi chinenguwo. Deni akanga ari wako mudikanwa afa waizoti MISHAP?

Jinda - 8 December 2013

Most of the times it is the commuter drivers who are causing the road accidents and the police are moving in to control the traffic chaos. I know that the kombi drivers are a mischievous lot as some of them are under-age drivers. Is the Hon. Minister from Malawi? It's the police who are mischievous by demanding bribes from these kombi drivers. And most of the kombi owners are members of the police force. The Hon Minister's statement are a farce, I guess he has never boarded a kombi before. What he is saying are statements made by some police details in the press, he is clueless.

mukabarz - 9 December 2013

It is unfortunate our Deputy Minister does not use public transnsport hence he is ignorant on behaviour of police on the road.Is it constitutional that uniformed officers do not pay fares in both private and public transport.Kombis are loosing revenue when they carry 5 uniformed army or police officers who refuse to pay but they hv transport allowances in their payslips.Our police must be chickong how much passengers have been overcharged and their fellow uniformed officers have they paid so that they protect the passengers than enriching themselves with police toll gate fares.Those kombis that refuse to carry unifomed forces are those being hunted under the cover of flouting regulations plz deputy minister put your house in order you were voted by people

chitoto - 9 December 2013

Why not simply say I will look into it rather than embarrass yourself in this fashion herr Minister? Lives are being lost by these combi drivers fleeing from police..is this the best that you can say to families who are grieving as we speak? Why would you display this heartless in the glare of public discord? I can bet my bottom dollar your boss was not pleased with your answers or maybe he was perhaps?

gutter poet - 9 December 2013

Just look at the calibre of people we have in cabinet. This Ziyambi fellow is not in touch with realities on the ground. Just listen to what he is saying..........this ignoramus.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 9 December 2013

And he is called a deputy minister yet he knows nothing about the plight of the commuter. This ZANU people are really something! I miss the days of Ian Douglas Smith

Bingo Wajakata - 9 December 2013

Mr Minister you don't have facts on the ground makaita seiko. Kombis have number plates zvekuti if you were serious nebasa mainobvunza ku cvr munozviziva imi kuti you get all the details. vanhu ava matsotsi ndivo vanokonzera kuti ma drivers aite that behaviour nokuti vanongoda bribe nepasingaite pese.

matsotsi - 9 December 2013

Douglas Ian Smith hatidi kumuona futi muteere ka

jayamufumi - 9 December 2013

iwe Ziyambi..are you sure nezvaurikutaura??

IWE - 9 December 2013

Minister a policeman stops a kombi.He does not go to the kombi he calls the crew to where he will be standing pretending to be writing something. After a few words and an excahneg of something the kombi passes. It is overloaded, the driver is under age though to me whether he is 16 or 50 years old they behave the same, it does not even have correct tyres or a functioning spare wheel. It passes the road block. Minister the police are risking their own lives and limps and people's lives not to do a duty but to fatten their pockets kuti vatengewo avo makombi. Ndoda kumboona kombi ine chikurubi address or glen norah police station address yakapwanya windscreen titaridzei tione.

Maita Manyuka - 9 December 2013

If you are professional enough all police officers with kombis must leave the force.

Maita Manyuka - 9 December 2013

@Maita- this could solve the problem in one breath. Thank you for your thoughts.

gutter poet - 9 December 2013

Guys, lets just call back the whites so that they govern us. We are blind. Our dear leader are equally blind.

murungu mutema - 9 December 2013

The combi drivers whose windscreens are smashed are those who refuse to pay bribes to demanding POLICE. Period!!

DBC - 10 December 2013

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