18 July 2012

Tanzania: Plan to Hire 3,000 Police Officers

Dodoma — THE Ministry of Home Affairs will recruit 3,000 police officers mostly from higher learning institutions during 2012/13 year, as part of efforts to replenish the force with qualified personnel.

Moving his ministry's 2012/2013 budget estimates, Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi told the National Assembly here that 3,264 members of staff were recruited during the last financial year.

"The aim is to engage well educated and better qualified personnel in the force, which has the role of enforcing public security in the country," the minister told the House. He also said the Prisons Department will recruit 1,800 new warders and wardresses during this financial year.

The minister stressed that the government was determined to purge corrupt elements in the Police Force. He said in 2011 a total of 68 policemen and women were sacked for various offences including soliciting and receiving bribes.

He said to motivate workers in the Police Force, Prisons, Fire Brigade and Immigration departments, the government had increased their monthly meal allowance from 100,000/- to 150,000/-.

The minister said plans were underway to build residential houses for the forces, noting that the Police Force alone needed 32,114 new units.

"We have already completed building apartments at Kilwa Road Police Station in Dar es Salaam and eight houses at Arusha Airport area capable of accommodating 128 families," said the minister, adding that other projects were going on in Mwanza, Mara and Kagera regions.

The minister said the government has intensified the war against drug trafficking, noting that between July 2011 and April, this year, police had arrested 10,384 suspects in unlawful possession of different substances including heroin, cocaine and bhang. It also destroyed 235 hectares of bhang in Tarime and Rorya.

Dr Nchimbi said the police force was implementing effectively the HIV/AIDS policy, saying infection rate had gone down from five to 4.8 per cent between 2010 and this year.

The minister said the National Identification Authority (NIDA) had completed the trial registration of 290,000 government employees in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and 220,000 others in Kilombero district in Morogoro Region. He said the process for construction of NIDA offices in 40 districts was underway.

Contributing to the budget estimates, Mr Deo Filikunjombe (CCM - Ludewa) challenged the government to provide the Police Force with modern tools and equipment. The legislator said the police were lagging behind in modern technology in this digital age. "It is better to have a small but well equipped Police Force.

The MP expressed deep concern over what he described as "horrible, intolerable and inhuman" conditions in most of the country's prisons. "May be it is time the minister responsible and his deputy are locked up in a prison for at least a year for them to experience the conditions there for them to understand what we are talking about," the MP said.

Mr Kangi Lugora (CCM - Mwibara) said some dishonest police officers were involved in criminal activities. Some, he said, were leaking sensitive information to criminals. He named a police officer, Fadhili Kweka as one of the criminals in the Force and urged the ministry to investigate and take appropriate action.

The legislator also echoed Mr Filikunjombe's views on having educated and technology savvy police officers instead of those who depend on "whistles and truncheons" to chase thieves.

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