HARARE — Traffic police officers are demanding sexual favours from female taxi drivers they find on the wrong side of the law.
Several female taxi drivers who spoke to Standardcommunity in Harare complained that police officers were abusing them, demanding bribes in the form of sex, especially from those who would have failed to grease their palms.
Report by Tawanda Marwizi
One driver, who identified herself only as Monica and operates at Harare’s Copacabana rank, said she was tired of officers that demanded sex in exchange for freedom once she is caught breaking traffic regulations.
Those without the necessary road permits papers to operate taxis were also falling prey to the unscrupulous cops.
“They come to us saying you are at a wrong parking space and threatening to take us to Harare Central Police Station and on the way they start demanding sex from us. To us, it’s so irritating.”
Another female driver, Femy, said if one failed to comply, the officers would terrorise that driver to the extent that some ended up giving them what they wanted.
“They say let’s go to the police station and on the way they demand sex as a form of bribe and if you deny them, they start to accuse you of several crimes,” said Femy.
Out of fear some end up giving in, she added.
Some of the female drivers have since abandoned the business of driving taxis and resorting to employing male drivers for fear of being sexually abused.
“This car came from my husband who is in the Diaspora and he told me to use it as a taxi to generate money for our children but I have since given it to a male driver because of what police officers were doing,” said another female driver.
National Police Traffic Inspector, Tigere Chigome, said he was out of the office.
“I am attending a sports function so I can’t give you any details or any comment,” said Chigome.