Arusha — THE Immigration Department in Arusha region is involving local communities in Loliondo Division of Ngorongoro District to help in marking the borderline with Kenya. For years, Loliondo has remained a 'no man's land' with people from either side of the border entering and leaving freely.
This state of lawlessness has led to inflow of small arms, fuelled cattle rustling and created general insecurity. In their joint meeting with immigration officers in the Soitsambu, Ololosokwan and Olkosolok wards of Loliondo division, in Ngorongoro District, the local residents asked for permanent marked borderline and immigration office and if possible a police post to curb insecurity.
The Chairman of Enguserosambu Village, Mr Mussa Kukunyet and the Ward Councillor for Olgosolok, Mr Pasko Kileo, lamented that the Loliondo area was serving as transit route for illegal immigrants and smuggled goods from Kenya.
"The situation gets worse because the residents of Loliondo and their counterparts on the Kenyan side are all Maasais, speaking the same language and wearing similar attires. Once these get used as conduits, it becomes difficult to tell a Tanzanian from a Kenyan," they said adding that latest development also included land grabbing by foreigners, livestock theft and armed robbery.
"Alien criminals have been stealing cars, killing and wounding people as well as robbing traders and many of them carry heavy firearms thus the local people here, including the police are afraid of confronting them," stated Mzee Ormalimu Ollukene, a resident of Ololosokwani.
The Assistant Commissioner of Immigration in charge of investigations, Mr Ebrosy Mwanguku, who led the team to Loliondo where they conducted series of sensitization seminars, explained that the Arusha department was in the process of empowering border residents to deal with the situation.