On a Sunday a few weeks ago, about noon, two men in all the gear motorcycle cops wear parked their motorbike on Ardbennie Road in Mbare and began the usual disruption of traffic by stopping buses and kombis in the middle of that busy road. One strange thing was that their motorbike had no registration plates, though it was marked “Police”. So whatever they were doing, it didn’t bear any relationship to enforcing observance of the law. How can they expect anyone to take the law seriously if the the enforcers of that law say so clearly “Don’t do as I do; do as I tell you”.
On the following Tuesday about 9am a group of five cops and three other parasites in fluorescent jackets were up to the same trick in their usual place by the petrol station near Kelvin Corner on Cripps Road. The obstruction they caused was very noticeable, however briskly they dealt with each victim. As soon as they had been processed, all the kombi drivers raced off to catch up on lost time, many of them racing along the footpath to get to the front of the queue at the robots on the corner into Mbare. The cops, a hundred metres or so back, did nothing. Were they deliberately turning their backs? I can’t be sure, but whatever they were doing it had nothing to do with encouraging safe driving.
Maybe seeing these things made me more aware, but I suddenly began to notice a lot of the younger cops were flourishing those nasty spiked things they use for “traffic control”, and I recalled that senior police officers had stated publicly that officers should not throw those spiked things at or in front of moving vehicles. I saw one zealous young man flinging his out in attempt to stop a kombi which succeeded in dodging and getting away. He was lucky. He could have killed people that way, as others have done, and Cripps Road in the rush hour is not a place where you can get away with murder. I know that young male animals of any species like to play dangerous games, but an intelligent species like ours should be able to teach our young to consider the consequences of their actions.
Instead of which, their elders do a lot without thinking through the consequences. Have they ever trid to calculate the cost to the country of their constant pressure on the economic arteries of the nation? Do that to a human body and you do serious damage, maybe even death. The traffic on the main roads I have cited is the lifeblood of our economy, so we should expect the economy to suffer. The few people who still have formal jobs arrive late at work and in a bad temper because nobody likes to pay bribes or fines for “offences” that weren’t offences yesterday. If they manufacture anything, the materials for their work arrive late also. Hours of work are lost and the quality of work is reduced. All of that costs money. We may not be able to trace exactly who loses how much but it is clear we are all losing in the long run. Everyone has less money – and that means even the cops collect less.
And what is the official reaction to that? The traditional ZANU answer: more of the same. Increase the fines, bribes or whatever you call them. A fine example of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, or to come nearer home, it is like chopping down your mango tree to get the last few fruit. Did I say we are an intelligent species? Do we act like one?Post published in: Featured