MLELE District Commissioner (DC) in Katavi region, Colonel Ngemela Lubinga is appealing to government to expedite the decision made earlier of transferring refugees from Burundi living at Katumba refugee settlement to other regions in the country as they have become a problem.
The DC made the remarks as he read the District's reports on the implementation of development projects before the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, on Thursday in Inyonga town, and the headquarters of the newly established Mlele District. The Premier on Thursday commenced a ten-day working tour in Katavi region where he is expected to visit development projects and greet wananchi while addressing public rallies.
The Premier was further briefed that even though refugees living at Katumba settlement have contributed greatly towards agriculture, they have become a nuisance. According to the DC, some of the refugees are reported to desert the settlement and are actively involved in criminal activities including destruction of the environment, theft, armed robbery and poaching in Katavi National Park.
"Mr Premier, our call as the district government is that a decision made regarding the transfer of refugees to other regions in the country should be expedited as they are posing to be a great threat in our area by engaging in criminal activities including poaching and environmental degradation in the area, " he said.
The DC called upon the government to thoroughly screen refugees living at Katumba settlement in an effort to offer naturalization to those who qualify. The Premier was further briefed that up to November this year, 73,591 refugees from neighbouring Burundi are living at Katumba settlement.