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Alleged police graft strains Zimbabwean courts

Story from: CAJ News Africa

police-bribeFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWEAN journalists and residents have been jailed for exposing and protesting alleged corruption by traffic police.The police are accused of bringing public transport to a halt through ceaseless roadblocks and petty charges.The country’s Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is inundated by appeals for representation amid the increased violations by police accused of being an extension of entrenched corruption by the administration of President Robert Mugabe.
ZLHR said authorities had resumed their onslaught against media practitioners after they arrested and detained three journalists working for a privately-run newspaper.
The journalists captured pictures during a clash between civilians and some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers in central Harare.
NewsDay journalists-Obey Manayiti, Shepherd Tozvireva and Abigail Matsikidze- as well as driver Raphael Phiri were unearthing evidence of police officers harassing motorists with the tyre deflation devices.
Skirmishes regularly break out between police and some members of the public who are privileged to work. A handful of commuters have died after police throw spikes against escaping buses.
Meanwhile, the Kwekwe Magistrates Court has granted bail of $100 (R1 300) to four residents recently arrested protesting alleged police corruption.
Taxi operators led the protests.The suspects have been charged with “public violence and participating in an unlawful gathering.”
ZRP is accused of brutalising protesters and randomly terrorizing non-protesters so as to instill fear among citizens.Rights groups have blamed the empty coffers of government for the spike in police allegedly raising funds through traffic fines. Motorists have complained of trumped-up traffic violations.
– CAJ News

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