OUR sister paper HabariLeo yesterday quoted Kigamboni Constituency Member of Parliament in Dar es Salaam, Dr Faustine Ndugulile warning rogue police officers out to harass Bodaboda riders that they are not only doing a disservice to the nation, but also creating a precedence where the youth loath the force unreasonably.
He mentioned a case where a cop ascends on a parked bodaboda and arrests the owner, which indirectly implies that the police officer is simply creating an environment to harass (read solicit bribe) whichever way one may look at it, because if one questions the crime behind a parked motorcycle, no professional answers would be provided.
These few errant cops in the force should realise that they are tarnishing the good image and relations the government is fostering in the public, where the youth, just like any other citizen should bank on to do lawful business and pay tax.
If it is true that some of these traffic police officers are unlawfully harassing the bodaboda riders, the government must compel them to stop the behavior, for no war is expensive to a man who has been forced circumstantially to fight it.
The youths who invest in this sector do not want to engage in unlawful acts such as robbery, but contribute in our country’s economy, that is why they take up loans from banks and other financial institutions to purchase these motorcycles.
From where do they get the money to repay the loans if the little they get is taken away by some few dishonest police officers, who are also indirectly being paid by the bodaboda taxes?
Police officers wear many hats when fulfilling their roles in the society, and in particular, police are involved in community building and crime prevention, but once some divert to crime like harassing a lawful citizen to solicit a bribe, that is a criminal offence.
The country does not want nasty incidences (which have occurred in some parts of the world), where transport would be paralysed, forcing most business premises to remain closed for the better part of the day, just because a dishonest cop, like a tinderbox has ignited the fire for his/her own selfish gains.
Most riders/motorists have been pulled over for over speeding, drunk driving, failing to come to a total stand-still at a stop sign or breaking what we feel are minor issues, which in normal cases, should call upon a traffic officer to ensure that the traffic law is not broken and this is understandable, but harassing the motorist/rider in anyway is not acceptable in the law.