MARA Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr John Tupa has strongly warned warriors belonging to Wakira and Wanchari clans residing in Northern Tarime District not to dare engage in fresh violence.
The RC issued the warning shortly after making an emergency visit to the area which has always been the source of conflict between the two clans of Kurya tribe over the weekend. Mr Tupa was accompanied by members of Mara Regional and Tarime District Security and Defence Committees as well as scores of armed security personnel.
They witnessed several hectares of crop farms which have been destroyed at Ng'ereng'ere and Kubiterere villages leaving scores of families in a hopeless situation in recent days. The RC directed the Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Tarime Special Police Zone, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justus Kamugisha, to ensure that all people who took part in the killing of a man, who was murdered while harvesting crops in his field in Ng'ereng'ere Village, are arrested and prosecuted.
He also ordered the police to hunt for and arrest all those involved in the destruction of crops in the villages. "I am not seeing fighting here but there are indications. All those who have killed that citizen should be arrested, those who have destroyed crops must be arrested and instigators should also be nabbed.
Make a keen investigation to avoid arresting innocent citizens," the regional chief directed ACP Kamugisha at the scene. The RC announced the suspension of two Ward Executive Officers(WEO's) serving in the area but abruptly changed his mind and tasked them to supervise the immediate removal of maize crop cultivated in an area which has always been the source of fighting between the two clans since 1992.
The land covering about 193.3 hectares was repossessed by the government and handed over to the National Service as part of a solution to bring peace in the area but some villagers from both sides have been planting crops in the area while local leaders turned blind eyes.
"Why are these people being allowed to plant crops in a prohibited area? Who are they before the government? Why do they plant when you (WEOs) are there? "I had to rush from Dodoma along with the DC (Mr John Henjewele) where we were attending a very crucial developmental meeting while you are just relaxing here without checking the situation so that it doesn't get out of hand," the RC told the WEOs He ordered the WEOs,
"I don't want to see crops in this area that belongs to the government by next week. The method you will use to remove them, I don't know." He also directed the Mara Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) and Tarime District Council Executive Director (DED) to put up fresh beacons that will help to separate the government land from that of the surrounding villagers without delay.
He urged residents of Ng'ereng'ere and Kubiterere villages to abstain from engaging in fights, warning that security personnel are on high alert to deal with the situation accordingly. "We as government we are annoyed by this situation. You are even shaming us.
At this time my colleagues are in Dodoma discussing developmental issues but I am here," Mr Tupa told some residents of Ng'ereng'ere Village who had turned up to tell him how their crops had been badly destroyed by their colleagues residing in Kubiterere Village. He also warned traditional elders to stop instigating youths to breach peace and order in the area.
"We will respect traditional elders if they are helpful to the government. But those who will instigate violence will be taken to task", he warned. The fourth phase government which is led by President Jakaya Kikwete has transformed Tarime District into a special police zone in a bid to beef up security in the district which has also been experiencing frequent cross border rustling incidents in the past.