It has been going on for years and there is little hope of it stopping even though it’s illegal. Overzealous police officers in Zimbabwe often engage in spike throwing and windscreen smashing in a bid to stop escaping motorists. Usually these motorists are engaged in illegal activities such as carrying passengers to and from undesignated zones or illegal kombis providing services despite the kombi ban by the government.

A senior cop has now warned ZRP police officers that those who engage in the practice will face punishment. In a memo shared by Zimlive, the officer commanding Mbare district reminded all officers in charge that there is a standing directive by the ZRP’s Chief Staff Officer against the “continuous use of spikes and smashing of motor vehicle windscreens by members.”

Despite several memoranda sent to districts to desist from such practice, it was observed that members are continuously using spikes with some going to the extent of smashing windscreens of motor vehicles in order to effect arrests,

It should be noted that such practice is unlawful, unacceptable and not condoned by the organisation. This conduct exposes the organisation to avoidable litigations from affected members of the public.

An excerpt of the memo

The memo went on to say that those who engaged in the practice will face disciplinary action. Questions however come to mind such as what exactly this disciplinary action will entail? Why not arrest the offending parties as they are clearly engaging in something illegal? Most importantly where are the police officers getting the spikes from if what they are doing is illegal?