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Caution at State House

ON November 15 at about 4pm, a mother with two young children in her car was returning to her home in Borrowdale. As she approached the entrance to State House, a motorcyclist from the Presidential motorcade which was travelling from Borr

owdale to State House turned right in front of her and signalled her to stop.


She did so immediately and so did the traffic in the left lane and the vehicle behind her.


Without warning, a soldier putting on a yellow beret appeared at her window and started berating her for not having stopped sooner and being too close to the motorcade. He accused her of “playing games” and then punched her twice in the face drawing substantial amounts of blood from her nose.

“The next time I will shoot you,” he shouted before moving away.


A police officer from one of the vehicles in the Presidential motorcade then got out of his car and announced that the lady was under arrest and was to proceed to Harare Central Police Station whilst he would follow in the police car.


By this time the lady was considerably upset and the children were hysterical. On the way the little girl managed to telephone her father who drove to the police station to meet the family. They were told by the arresting officer that they were to pay a fine of $100 000.


The father demanded that a charge first be laid. There followed a period of consultation and reference to various documents in an endeavour to find a crime befitting a $100 000 fine. Eventually the woman was fined $25 000 for not pulling over far enough to the left, an action which was quite impossible since there was traffic in the left lane.


When the father stated that he wished to lay a charge against the soldier he was told not to waste his time on what the policeman termed “a regrettable incident”.Three weeks ago at exactly the same place in identical circumstances, this writer suffered a similar fate. The soldier merely slammed the car but the motorcyclist stabbed his gloved forefinger on my forehead and threatened me.


People are warned about this unpleasant situation outside State House and urged to exercise extreme caution.


Brian Ruff,

Harare.

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