Does Zim need all these roadblocks?

HARARE - Reports this week that over 10 000 tourists have complained about the numerous police roadblocks in Zimbabwe and the rough treatment they received from the uniformed forces is a matter of national concern.

This does not only put a dent on the tourism industry — one of the few sectors that are still growing in Zimbabwe — but also positions the country on a bad spot.

Who in his right senses would want to visit a country where they are constantly harassed and intimidated by the police for merely being a tourist?

While we appreciate the role of the police in maintaining peace and security, the presence of so many police officers on the roads projects an image of insecurity and high risk, which again does not auger well for Zimbabwe’s brand.

Over the past few years, complaints over the ever-increasing number of roadblocks and the extortionist tendency of officers manning police checkpoints have been raised, but nothing has changed. If anything, the roadblocks have increased in number in the past few months.

Numerous complaints are coming from a diverse section of the public, among them motorists, passengers, tourists, tourism players and business organisations.

Legislators and some government officials have also added their voice, making the roadblock issue a national concern.

As such, the government must come up with a strategy that strikes a balance between policing and the need to increase tourist arrivals, because, as it stands, the two are working at variance.

Zimbabwe needs all the tourists it can get to improve its economy and its brand, which are in tatters and the government cannot afford to be this indifferent on a matter that keeps on being raised.

Not only are these police officers a menace to tourists but they are also a threat to local motorists and one would be forgiven for thinking the government’s silence on illegal spot fines and copious roadblocks proves that this is a fund-raising initiative.

The time is now ripe for government and other concerned stakeholders to put an end to this madness that is threatening the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe.

Already, some countries such as Tanzania and Kenya have reduced the number of police roadblocks after realising their negative consequences.

Why can’t we do the same?

People begin to suspect there is a sinister move by the Home Affairs ministry to frustrate Tourism minister Walter Mzembi’s $5 billion tourism industry dream.

Comments (3)

No,not of course!

Addmore Gudo - 4 March 2017

You refused urban tollgates, did you honestly think you will go scottfree with this money hungry regime? Chishona kwacho is Tamama anhuwe.....

tbos - 6 March 2017

kusvika mati sorry. muri kuti mari yekubhadhara ma teacher yobvepi. suffer continue even after 2018

mugove wedu - 14 March 2017

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