WATCH: Was this tourist in Zimbabwe too cocky? Driver takes on police

Harare - If you want to know what it's like to be stopped at Zimbabwe's roadblocks, here's your answer. Be warned: it may not make you want to book a holiday up north.

In this video posted to YouTube, a tourist driving an SA-registered vehicle filmed himself getting stopped at multiple police checkpoints as he drives across the southern African country.

Watch the video below. 

Foreign-registered vehicles aren’t supposed to be subject to the same stringent (and constantly changing requirements) for vehicle equipment, which includes reflector strips of a particular length and fire extinguishers secured in a particular way.

At each roadblock the tourist explains that that was the assurance given by “Sergeant-Major Khupe” from Victoria Falls. He also demands to see each police officer’s ID, which hardly any are willing to give him. Sometimes he gives up arguing and just drives off.

“You say we need reflectors. This is a foreign-registered car. We do not need them. We know that. Everyone knows that,” he says at one checkpoint, later adding: “Everyone wants to fine us 20 dollars, 40 dollars, 100 dollars.”

Near the end of the video, the driver is involved in an altercation with an officer as he is made to get out of the car.

Police roadblocks occur with astonishing frequency in Zimbabwe, sometimes as many as four in a 14km stretch. There are fears that foreign tourists are seen as an “easy target” by revenue-hungry officers because they do not always know their rights.

The video has been viewed more than 19 000 times since it was posted on February 5 – but there’s also been criticism of the driver’s “cockiness”.

“His attitude is condescending. When you are stopped by the police in any country, you comply,” commented one viewer. Another said: “The police were very gentle with this guy?”

Did the tourist behave badly?

What do you think?

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Post published in: Economy
  • JongweRachembera

    It worked for five or six road blocks but number seven it got ugly. There is no law except the one that is made up on the spot at the road blocks. Its about a government desperate for revenue. Road blocks were started by the Smith government and carried over by Mugabe to keep control of the population by having an intimidating visible presence of government seen throughout the country, it is very little to do with public safety.

  • Markos Davias

    I grew up with a healthy respect for the ZRP but now I feel that those in uniform these days are simply abusing that respect. In other countries around the world the police will gladly show you their police ID if you ask for it because part of their job is to treat the public (who are their ultimate employers) with respect.

    Instead of scarring away tourists (and damaging a vital economic sector on the process) the cops should instead focus on actually making the vehicles safe by providing the fire extinguishers, reflective tape etc. Motorists won’t then be “fined” again for the same “offence” further down the road as they drive away with a compliant vehicle.

    However a far better solution is to introduce proper checks like the British MOT test where each vehicle is checked over by a qualified and registered mechanic once a year. This should be standardised and enforced at SADC level ensuring that every vehicle in the region is compliant and is only allowed on the road with a valid pass certificate which is also recorded on a central database where it can be verified just by scanning the vehicle registration number. Scanners can be built into toll gates where drivers have to stop anyway. Compared to an untrained cop the mechanic can also more effectively look at the overall condition of the vehicle leading ultimately to safer roads. But will the corrupt powers that be allow it? I don’t think so unfortunately as the current “system” benefits them.