The Zhombe Anti-Corruption Monitoring Voluntary Action group which is part of Anti Corruption of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) has raised alarm over corruption activities that are reportedly taking place at Zhombe Joel shopping centre where members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police are reportedly allowing businesses to operate against the Covid-19 regulations.
In a statement by the Anti-corruption monitors, the Police are reportedly allowing businesses owned by high profile people in the area to operate against the Covid-19 regulations whilst those businesses that are owned by the little known entrepreneurs are forced to close and pay fines.
“The Zhombe Anti-Corruption Monitoring Voluntary Action group which monitors reports and takes action against corruption has noted with deep concern that Zhombe police is allowing businesses owned by high profile individuals and members of the police to operate hassle-free against Covid-19 restrictions whilst all those owned by less connected individuals are fined and forced to close.
“This was witnessed on the 12th and 13th of January 2021 at Joel Business Centre in the district of Kwekwe in Zimbabwe. The deadly Covid-19 pandemic does not discriminate between the rich and the poor but Zhombe police are giving a blind eye,” the statement read.
According to the statement, Chairperson of the Anti-corruption group tried to engage the ZRP officer in charge of Zhombe police station affairs. The officer in question is alleged not to have taken any action following the complains.
“The Chairperson of the Zhombe Community Anti-Corruption group which is supported by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa alerted the Member in Charge of Zhombe police who appeared not willing to intervene in support of the status quo. It is the group’s considered opinion that the Member in Charge is not serving any purpose and his continued presence in Zhombe might worsen the spreading of the pandemic,” read the statement.
When contacted for comment, the National ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged the affected business operators and individuals to report any acts of corruption so that investigations can be done.
“I am yet to receive such reports but I would like to urge owners of the businesses to report so that investigations can be done accordingly, ” he said.
In another incident which happened in Kwekwe Central business district, a woman from Rutendo (name supplied) was reportedly forced to pay a bribe of US$5 in the streets by a police officer inorder to set her free after she was spotted wrongly wearing a mask.
Reports have also been circulating that the Police officers are collecting bribes in the streets to let people break the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
However, Assistant Commissioner Nyathi urged the affected individuals to report at Kwekwe Central Police station to one Chief Superintendent Maingire inorder to be assisted.
Following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, Vice President Constantine Chiwenga announced a 30-day closure of non-essentional businesses and 12hour curfew from 6pm to 6am.
A January 14 national COVID-19 update shows 47 coronavirus deaths which translates to almost 2 deaths per hour.- KwekweNet