20 December 2012

Tanzania: Ngara Authorities Blast Police Over Excessive Force

LEADERS in Ngara District have blasted the police for using excessive force in arresting suspects, a situation which should be checked to avoid bloodshed.

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Ideology Secretary for Ngara District, Pastory Damian, told reporters that using excessive force makes 'wananchi' not to cooperate with the law enforcers. He was referring to a recent incident where three people, including two police officers were killed during confrontations at Mugoma Ward in the district.

On December 15, this year, two police officers from the Traffic Department identified as Cpl Paschal and Constable Alexander and a civilian Said Mkonikoni (24) from Mugoma Village died during the skirmishes. Unruly people later on set ablaze a police post at Mugoma, destroying various properties whose value has not been established.

Staford Festo, who is also the Ngara District NCCRMageuzi Chairman, said the killing of innocent lives was contrary to Section 14 of the Constitution. He appealed to the government to appoint a neutral probe committee to verify the truth regarding the grisly incident.

Meanwhile, the Kagera Regional Police Commander (RPC), Philip Kalangi, said a total of 40 suspects were arrested in connection with the incident. He said 29 suspects were later released while 11 others were still helping police with investigations.

He appealed to residents in the region to avoid taking the law into their own hands and instead report suspects to nearby police stations. In another development, a 26-year-old man identified as Elgard Storig from Rwongwe Village in Kasharu Ward, Bukoba Rural District allegedly set ablaze his own house and threatened people who tried to give assistance.

Kasharu Ward Executive Officer (WEO), Frank Kailembo said the incident happened on Monday night. He said for unknown reasons, Storig set ablaze his own house. According to Kailembo, neighbours who tried to give assistance were threatened by Storig who was armed with a machete. He said the suspect had been handed over to police at Katoro for further questioning.

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