Mwanza — VARIOUS stakeholders have challenged Operation Kimbunga's way of seizing aliens in the regions of Geita, Kagera and Kigoma, areas where the operation has been hailed as highly successful.
Venance Muhabuki (47), a resident of Karagwe, who is visiting Mwanza City criticized the whole exercise, saying most people accused to be aliens lost their properties. Those who survived the exercise paid a bribe for their survival.
"The operation Kimbunga had good intention but some of the implementers took advantage of the situation to take a bribe.
Those involved in the corrupt operation were the police, immigration officers and the militia," says Muhabuki. The same exercise was undertaken in Kigoma Region.
The region, however, has a population that is mostly composed of indigenous Tanzanians. However, many nationals were deliberately accused of being aliens and seized for deportation, they freed themselves by paying a bribe. They were taken to the border of Tanzania and Burundi and abandoned there recognized by neither the Tanzanian government nor that of Burundi.
Threatened with imminent deportation and the urgent need for peace and settlement, they paid a bribe without much argument. Noel Ndarichako (50), a resident of Gungu in Kigoma Region told the 'Daily News' yesterday that the three days of Operation Kimbunga frightened the Wananchi to the extent that they didn't know what was happening after living in the country in peace for many years.
A total of 1,237 illegal immigrants have been netted in Operation Kimbunga phase two in Geita, Kagera and Kigoma and 30 guns, 687 bullets, two Magazines, 1 Combat Uniform belonging to Burundi's army, 1 shirt of Army were seized. The Deputy Commissioner of Police Simon Sirro at a press conference last Friday in Mwanza City said that Operation Kimbunga has recorded a high achievement.
Another exercise Operation Police Force managed to impound 1 cape of Burundi's Army and 3 pair of boots of the Burundi's Army.
The operation, likewise seized one defensive hand grenade as well as 6559 cows. "Operation Kimbunga is a successful exercise to a high level of standard because we managed to capture illegal immigrants in the ongoing exercise," said Mr Sirro and added:
"We also seized 1,237 illegal immigrants in Geita, Kigoma and Kagera regions." Sirro who is also Deputy Kimbunga Operation Commander said that the illegal immigrants were from Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Democratic Republic (DRC) who were settled in Geita, Kagera and Kigoma.
He noted that the grand total of illegal immigrants in custody was 1588. The Deputy Commissioner of Police also said that 907 illegal immigrants have returned to their home land under the Immigration order of Prohibited Immigrants (PI), 173 under voluntarily repatriation.
Proving complaints that the exercise bothered innocent people was the fact that some 141 alleged illegal immigrants were freed after they have been proved to be Tanzanians. However, despite the alleged shortcomings of the exercise, it proved to be of much benefit for the nation.
It provided more security for the regions after exposing and arresting 329 gangsters. Of the alleged criminals, 5 were accused of trafficking illegal immigrants.
In that group of alleged gangsters 3 were suspected of being marijuana users. DPC Sirro acknowledged that 156 cows were apprehended and nationalized by court order because they were kept in national parks. Money collected as fines for grazing livestock in national parks totalled 12.9m/-.
Three people were caught with bhang (marijuana) and arraigned in a case No. 203/2013. They were fined a a total of 500,000/-.
In the Operation Kimbunga there were also people caught with 100 bags of forest produce. Deputy Commissioner of Police Sirro did not clarify of what kind of produce it was. In addition to all that 283 pieces of timber and 12 monophilament (makoko) trees were seized.