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Nightmare at Boka Bus Terminus…

-as police collude with touts to frustrate travelers!

Munhumutapa

As the continued rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway is still in progress; this has also caused many changes on travelers.

 The popular Mbudzi roundabout is undergoing a major facelift, very soon it will be known as Mbudzi Interchange. But conservatives will continue calling it Mbudzi roundabout.

Criminals around the world especially in Africa are enabled and hardened by members of the security forces.

The police colludes with them to earn an extra money through unorthodox means. Currently in Zimbabwe most gun robberies are committed by ex or serving members of the force.

This culture is developed mostly during the time when are in service by certain officers, who are greed and lack professionalism as work in cahoots with criminals. Most of them don’t learn this art after leaving the force, they perfect this art during their tour of duty.

On Sunday (17/03/24 ) l was traveling from Seke to Masvingo, and my means of transport was public. I had to catch a bus at Boka.

 I arrived late around 1700hrs, and mostly cross- border buses are the ones which rule the roost at these hours. When l got there, an Empire Tours bus was in front of other buses.

Unknowingly and not city smart, l presumed that it will be the first to leave. The touts welcomed me like a king, and promised that they were about to leave within an hour. By 1730hrs l was sitting in the bus and phoning back home that l was on my way. I told them roughly by 2200hrs l will be there (finally l left Boka at 2300hrs).

Ignorance is bliss definitely; l didn’t know that l was dealing with smart touts. There was no real driver and conductor. One tout was on the steering and drinking Black Label, that was when l realized that all the passengers in the bus were hoodwinked to believe in them.

 Only one vendor openly told me that you made a mistake by boarding the bus, when l was buying a Pepsi drink from her. I asked why? And she replied with a low voice that; ‘you will be luck if you go to Masvingo tonight’.

 That was when reality sunk in me.

I quickly mobilised some few guys and told them to go and confront the touts and tell us the time we gonna depart.

The touts smelling danger also quickly did what l did and around eight or more of them became defensive and promised to beat the lights out of us if we keep on reminding them to leave.

As enlightened citizens we retreated as we saw a cow horn formation surrounding us. And we quickly warned ourselves not to retaliate, but to play by the law.

 Around 2200hrs, a Mazda pick up truck ( reg. number ZRP 283T, Southlea Police station) arrived at Boka. I saw it from a distant and quickly approached them. I told them about how the bus crew are not telling us the real time we gonna depart.

Surely the officers frankly told me that, they are not guilty of an offence. And l asked them again; why some buses have timetables which they should adhere to. The officers again replied “please go back to your bus, you are likely to miss it”.

I retreated in darkness and witnessed the pick-up truck collecting some money from each cross- border bus. And lastly, they came to our bus and took their share and disappeared into the night.

 That is how Zimbabweans are exposed to criminals by the very force that must protect them. Instead of attending to the passengers’ grievances and warn bus operators to stick to their timetables, they only came to collect their ‘daily tax’ and left.

 Zimbabweans have lost faith in the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The moment these guys wear their uniforms; people around them just whisper” mbavha mbiri, Jesu pakati”.

In urban areas and at road blocks the system is the same, as it is now institutionalized and regularised. You hear boys ” dzemushikashika” saying, ukasadaro haufambe (if you don’t pay the tithe you won’t work).

The moment you realize dockets missing in court rooms and title deeds in Deeds Office also missing, that’s when you realize that the country has been captured by the Mafioso.

 Crimes in Zimbabwe are enabled and emboldened by members of the force or any anyone entitled to protect us colluding with outlaws.

For the police force to earn some respect in the communities they serve they must be forthright and have integrity.

 The moment they associate with bad elements, people conclude ‘do l need them to get succor?’.

Commissioner General Gowin Matanga, go back to factory settings so that the force get the honour it deserves.

Right now, it is in the form of one Goma (DRC) militia. Some of the force members openly eat and drink in bars, playing snooker in uniform, chewing gum and drinking soft drinks and bread openly in shops. You deserve better than this Mr. Police Officer.

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