A 35-year-old woman from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo has been arrested for impersonating a police officer and soliciting for bribes from pirate commuter omnibuses operating along 6th Avenue in the city centre
This comes at a time when the government has banned all kombis not registered with the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) from operating under the guise of Covid-19 control.
However, some defiant kombi operators have been secretly operating while playing cat and mouse games with the police amid allegations that they bribe some of them to avert arrests.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube identified the accused as Vinate Ncube, adding she was assisting them with further investigations.
“On the 21st of June 2021 at 14:15hours at Corner Herbert Chitepo and 6th Avenue, police arrested Vinate Ncube, a 35 year old woman from Cowdray Park for impersonating a police officer and soliciting for bribes,” said Inspector Ncube.
He said the accused got into a pirate kombi, white in colour and solicited for bribes after having told the driver that he was under arrest for not being ZUPCO compliant.
Inspector Ncube said the driver gave the accused US$10 but some suspecting touts made a report to our police officers who were supervising the deployments in the area – Inspector Sibanda, Inspector Mpofu and Assistant Inspector Alidi from the traffic Central based at Drill Hall.
Inspector Ncube said when the accused had been arrested and handcuffed, it was later learnt that she is not a police officer.
“It appears she is always going there impersonating a police officer and soliciting for money from the pirate taxis and kombis claiming to be a police officer and the woman would be producing something like police I.D making them believe that she is coming from our central traffic department,” he said.
“The accused person has since been arrested and is assisting police with investigations; she is currently at Bulawayo Central Police station.”
Inspector Ncube appealed to members of the public to imitate what the people at 6th Avenue did yesterday in working with the police to fight crime.
“This is a pointer that most of the blame that is given to the police officers is actually perpetrated by members of the public who are taking advantage of the crime that is occurring at 6th Avenue and acting as if they are police officers, soliciting for bribes from unsuspecting pirate taxi drivers.,” he said.
“The relationship that we are slowly building with the members of the community in Bulawayo is paying off and it was after the officer commanding the province held a meeting with some heads of touts and some active community members along 6th Avenue. That is now paying as they (touts) are promising and yielding to their promise that crime will never be committed along 6th Avenue and they are working with the police,” he said.