8 February 2013

Tanzania: Govt to Consider Zanzibaris Gun Ownership

Photo: Anthony Morland/IRIN
A total of 876 criminal cases involving small arms recorded and 62 firearms stolen in 2012- police (file photo).

Dodoma — THE government will look into the possibility of people in Zanzibar to own firearms but the matter will be worked out carefully to study its legal status and other various implications.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereila Ame Silima, told the Parliament that according to the law, the Firearms Decree Cap section 165, Zanzibaris are not allowed to own firearms except for security organs.

He said due to the fact that normal civilians in the Isles are not allowed to own firearms there is a possibility that some political and religious conflicts reported there are caused by criminals who use weapons that are probably smuggled from the Mainland.

"According to its geographical position and location, people in Zanzibar are not allowed to own firearms and most of them used in various criminal incidents are illegally owned. We suspect they are smuggled from Tanzania Mainland," he said.

He was responding to a question by Mr Yahya Kassim Issa (Chwaka, CCM) who wanted to know why people of Zanzibar were not allowed to own weapons for their security purposes and why the government can't approve for them to own them.

The deputy minister called for legislators to educate people to keep their properties, including money, in safe custody like banks to reduce incidents of crime.

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