Tanzanian authorities have announced a one-month grace period for people possessing unlicensed firearms to surrender them voluntarily, in a move aimed at checking the rising tidal wave of armed robberies.
The grace period will last until Jan. 5 next year, said Emmanuel Nchimbi, minister for Home Affairs. People who surrender their firearms during the grace period will not be prosecuted, the minister added. He told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that when the grace period ends, the government will launch a fierce crackdown aimed at seizing illegally-owned firearms which are not surrendered."We will spare nobody during the crackdown, and the government will use all its power in making sure that nobody owns firearms illegally," Nchimbi warned
According to the minister, between January and September this year, there were 876 armed robberies in the country and 62 firearms were stolen during the period under review.While 304 firearms were seized by law enforcers during that period, 138 people including six police officers were killed and property worth 2.8 million U.S. dollars were taken by armed robbers. He said those who will volunteer to surrender the illegal firearms should hand over them to police stations, ward executive officers, religious institutions, and district and regional commissioners' offices.