THOUSANDS of Dar es Salaam residents on Tuesday turned up to pay their last respects to the late Mwanza Regional Police Commander (RPC), Liberatus Barlow, as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Said Mwema vowed not to leave a stone unturned in his investigation.
Commander Barlow was killed on Friday night by unknown assailants at Kitangili in Ilemela district. The RPC was said to have stopped in the area to drop a female passenger. IGP Mwema told mourners at St Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Ukonga that the gruesome murder of Commander Barlow would not frustrate the efforts of the Police Force at ensuring law and order is protected in the country.
"We will always outsmart criminals in this country because unlike them, we have the support of members of the community who are always behind us in our investigations," he said.IGP thanked the people of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza for the overwhelming cooperation that they had availed to the force and asked mourners in Kilimanjaro region where Commander Barlow is expected to be buried on Wednesday to do the same.
He said that the killing of Commander Barlow was a big blow to the police force especially when you take into consideration the fact that the ratio between police and those that the officer protects is 1:1,300 people.
IGP Mwema described the former Mwanza RPC as being very hard working, trustful and brave. He added that the fallen commander would always be remembered. "The community has in the past played a major role in combating bank robberies and terrorism threats by giving us tips.
We admit that the void that has been left with departure of Commander Barlow is huge."It can only be filled by the public so that the 1,300 people are protected," he said. With regard to this, IGP Mwema announced that the police have nabbed and confiscated the phones belonging to the Greek woman who was dragged to death in the course of preventing her handbag from being snatched by unidentified people in a motor vehicle.
He said that thanks to a tip-off from well wishers, the police had managed to apprehend the thieves that robbed and killed Ms Petroula Chatzipantazi and that they would soon appear before the courts of law.
The Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Mr Pereira Silima, said that it was in the best interest of the government and the police that efforts of apprehending the culprits were quickened such that they would not remain at large for long.
Mr Silima said that Commander Barlow was a strong pillar of the Police Force and that his murder had left a big gap. But he assured the mourners that the government would get the criminals."Commander Barlow did not only serve the people of Mwanza but also shared his expertise with many of his colleagues in different regions.
The security of the country will only be guaranteed if there is active participation of the community," he said. Morogoro Regional Police Commander (RPC), Faustine Shilogile, said that the Police Force had lost a vital component and that the deceased was not only confident but also a good decision maker.
Commander Shilogile said that the news of the death of his comrade had been difficult to swallow and that he has been extremely saddened. Temeke RPC, David Misime echoed the words of Commander Shilogile, saying that Commander Barlow would always be remembered for his dislike in crime, for his constant fight against it and for the ability to bring people together.
The late RPC Barlow, who had previously assumed various posts within the Police Force, such as OCD and RCO since 1980s, was born in December 1959. He has left a widow and three children.