Thursday, November 8, 2012

A not-so-fine fine!

I was recently told by a friend that he had read an article which claimed that the Zimbabwean Police were the most corrupt, by a long way, in Africa. That really may be stretching things, but today..........

A friend of mine, whom I shall call "F", had quite a day today. Her vehicle bumped into another vehicle owned by another local woman, and caused slight damage. Both parties know each other well, and both were insured, so they waited for the Police to come and then they made a Police Report - without which it is impossible to lodge an insurance claim. The Policeman who attended from the Mutare Traffic Section then asked her to bring her Vehicle Registration Book to the Police Station, which she duly did.

When she was alone in his office in the Police Station, he turned quite nasty, and informed her that he wanted to take her to court for "negligent driving". She pointed out that she had already accepted fault in the incident, and therefore if there was a fine to be paid, she would pay it. At this time, "F" is being evicted from her farm (yes it is still going on right now), and is in the process of trying to slavage her personal belongings and livestoke off the farm. The thought of spending a day in the Zimbabwean judicial system was not one that filled her with any degree of joy or happiness!

She had just two bills on her - a $20 and a $100. She took out the $20 assuming that would be enough to cover any fine, whereupon he advised her that it was "not enough", so she gave him the $100 note. He took it and said he was going to consult "his superior".

When he returned, he said that it was "now enough", and made out a receipt for her - for $20!!!! No change was offered whatsoever.

On the wall of that particular Traffic Section Office, and visible above the Policeman's head as he slowly made out the receipt, is a very large poster, emblazoned with the words........


The irony was totally lost on Mr Plod.

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