26 February 2013

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Enlists FBI Help On Isles Killings

Photo: Daily News
Insecurity threatening tourists in the islands (file photo)

EXPERTS from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US and Scotland Yard of the UK will conduct a thorough study on the state of security in Zanzibar and advise the government on the best way forward.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereira Ame Silima, told reporters in Dar es Salaam that the reputed intelligence units are expected in the country by next month to assist local security organs in getting to the bottom of recent killings of a Roman Catholic Church priest and a Muslim cleric.

He said engagement of the FBI and Scotland Yard operatives was in line with President Jakaya Kikwete's pledge to hire any potential organ to help restore peace in Zanzibar. He said that apart from conducting investigation and more sophisticated evaluation of the state of crime involving the killing of clerics who provide spiritual services in Zanzibar, the agents will also advise the government on how to go about such occurrences in the future.

"We expect to receive these experts starting next month although we cannot mention their names or number for security reasons. But as a country we are committed to making sure we deal with the matter more effectively," he said.

Mr Silima's remarks come shortly after the Commissioner of Police in Zanzibar, Mr Mussa Ali Mussa, raised the same sentiments that some foreign expertise is urgently needed to reinforce operations in detecting criminals in Zanzibar.

Mr Silima said Tanzania was now facing a problem of identifying groups of people increasingly migrating into the country with criminal records from other countries. He called for regional efforts to deal with the situation.

Last week, President Kikwete instructed security officers to work day and night in a quest to apprehend and arraign the criminals who have been causing mayhem killing innocent religious leaders in Zanzibar.

He said the situation will not be tolerated any more. He said this as he presented his message of condolence to the Zanzibar leader of the Catholic Church, Bishop Augustino Shao following the assassination of Fr Evarist Mushi who was killed by unknown assailants on February 17.

The head of state called on the Police Force to make sure they apply all their tactics and capacity to bring the suspects to justice. Mr Silima said yesterday that the job was progressing well. "President Kikwete has made it clear that the country was even ready to part with a substantial amount of money to have this mission accomplished. We are working on this matter with a lot of commitment," he said.

Meanwhile, Issa Yussuf reports from Zanzibar that while the hunt for the killers of Father Mushi continues, Police in Zanzibar are holding six people in connection with the killing of Sheikh Ali Khamis Ali, 65, last Saturday at Kidoti village, North Unguja, and the theft of computers from the Public Service College, Tunguu.

Commissioner of Police Mussa said that although it was widely reported that detectives from abroad would come in Zanzibar to join hands in hunt for people behind the murder of Mushi, "the detectives from abroad have not arrived yet."

"We are continuing with investigations using our experts in the country and we hope to arrest the killers of the priest," the police commissioner said. He added that several people are still being questioned. Mussa also said that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of Sheikh Ali who was attacked while tending his coconut farm.

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