Dissing the ZRP – part 2

27 06 2015

Today, on my way into Borrowdale, I was once again stopped by the police. It is a straight piece of road near my work so I couldn’t have done anything untoward.

“Good morning sir, how are you?”

“Cold” it IS winter.

“We are just checking two things this morning, your horn and your hand brake.”

I sound the horn. I pull on the hand  brake thinking he is going to try pushing the car.

“Please put your foot on the clutch. Ah, yes, that’s nice, you may go.”

What? This is a level piece of road!

“Don’t you want to push the car to test the handbrake ?” It’s a Land Cruiser, good luck mate.

“No, there is a slope here, you may go.”

OK, whatever, looks dead level to me!

For a contrasting encounter, please see the previous post.

Dissing the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police)

24 06 2015

Driving out of town this morning I had to make a decision; gym or go home and try out my shoulder on the rowing machine. It has been giving trouble lately and I had a sneeky suspicion that it was due to the gym workout. I knew if I went to they gym I wouldn’t be able to resist doing more exercise than using the rowing machine there and I wanted to isolate the problem. So home it was. An unfortunate decision.

The police were at the Groombridge intersection on College Road waiting to catch those not stopping at the stop sign. I made a point of stopping and then they waved me over.

Bullshit! I thought.

“Did you see the stop sign?” the officer asked.

“Yes, and I stopped at it!”¬† I replied heatedly.

I realised that I was trapped. My word against his. I had no witnesses and he knew it. I couldn’t lose my temper, I couldn’t accuse him of lying. So I launched into full-blown psychological warfare.

“You know this means that I can never help any ZRP officer I see needing help?”

“You must not say that, you made a mistake” he countered.

“No I did not, I know when my vehicle is stopped now I insist you write me a ticket” I demanded.

“I need the money” he asked.

“You must find the change” (usually a problem) I replied and unfortunately pulled out a $50 note instead of a $100. Damn for making his life easier.

He duly found the change for the $20 fine and passed the form over for signing. I scrawled something that did not resemble my signature (like it was going to make a difference!).

“How can I respect the ZRP now?” I asked.

“But you must not say that” he replied looking genuinely hurt – or so I fancied.

I drove off resisting the temptation to spin the wheels.

The above exchange is heavily abridged. It went back and forth for about 10 minutes.

The ZRP attract much contempt for their complete lack of professionalism. They have been told to collect their own wages as the government is broke so the emphasis is on easy fine collection and real traffic policing, such as catching motorists driving dangerously, is neglected. How they will ever gain a measure of respect with the general public is difficult to see.

There are another 2 police who man a very informal road “block” on the road into town. I see them there most days. I am hoping they will pull me over as there have to be at least 3 police officers at any official road block so I can legally tell them to get lost. We’ll see!