Officials at the Vehicle Inspection Department are demanding sex from women applying for driving licences but cannot pay the usual $200 bribe, Now Daily can exclusively reveal.
Several women confirmed the racket and said they had been forced to sleep with the corrupt officers before they could be given the licences. They gave the identities of the officials involved.
“The driving school instructor told me that I had to pay a $200 bribe if I wanted to get the licence. He told me that even if my driving was good, the VID officers could make me fail the driving test on a technicality. A meeting was arranged with the VID officer, who told me straight up that if I didn’t have the money I’d have to make up to him in other ways, which could only mean sex,” said one of the victims.
Another woman said she went through all the processes and obtained her licence.
“After I got my licence, the VID officer demanded to meet me on a Saturday evening. He said there was something important that he wanted to tell me. I was surprised that the meeting was going to take place at a private lodge in Mandara but he said that was the best place because there would not be many other people around and he could tell me his ‘secret’ without fear,” the woman said. “When I arrived the officer plied me with alcohol and told me that he wanted to have an affair with me. I told him I was married. That is when he got tough and told me that my licence could be nullified because I had failed the test but he made it look like I had passed. I had no choice but to agree to be abused because my job as a marketing person requires me to have a licence.”
Another victim however said she had no qualms about making up to the VID officer, as long as she got the licence. The woman said she travelled all the way from Cape Town in South Africa to Harare to get the licence and was determined to get it at whatever cost.
“I asked the driving instructor to arrange a meeting with the VID officer. I put on my shortest mini-skirt and went to Eastlea to see the man. I told him that I didn’t have the $200 that he wanted but I could pay him in other ways. He agreed,” the woman said.
She said after giving her the licence the officer took her out to a night club on a Saturday night and later had sex with her in his car.
Activist group Consumer Action condemned the rackets and urged the authorities to take action to protect vulnerable women.
“We have always said corruption hurts women the most. This is a perfect example of what happens when a system gets out of control. Married women are being forced to commit adultery and girls are being infected with AIDS. We strongly condemn this,” said Consumer Action director and gender activist Kate Nhema.
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