13 February 2017

Tanzania: ...deal in Drugs At Your Own Peril, Magufuli Warns

Photo: South African Police Service
Drugs including heroin, crystal meth and cannabis confiscated by police.

Tanzanians arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned or condemned to death outside the country over drug dealings should never expect assistance from the government, President John Magufuli warned yesterday.

"They deserve the sentences and my government will not in any way try to get them out... the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation and our envoys abroad should not deal with such people," Dr Magufuli directed in Dar es Salaam.

He added; "If there are Tanzanians with life or capital sentences in foreign countries, they should be left to serve their sentences, the government will not in any way negotiate for their release.

" Dr Magufuli was speaking at the State House shortly after swearing-in the Commissioner General of Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) Rogers Sianga, Commissioner General of the Immigration Department Anna Makakala and three ambassadors.

The envoys include John Sokoine and Grace Mgavano who have been posted to Belgium and Uganda respectively as well as Omar Yussuf Mzee who has been assigned to Algeria.

"I am not fond of mincing words, criminals should be left to pay for their deeds...I appeal to the international community to support us in this war," he remarked, hinting that currently there are over 1,000 Tanzanians languishing in prisons outside the country, charged with drug-related cases.

Last week, a 41-year old Tanzanian lady Pamela David Kiritta was among two people who were arrested in India with four kilogrammes of 'fine quality Colombian cocaine,' with a street value of 500,000 US dollars (about 11bn/-).

She was arrested by India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) alongside a Zambian, Thelma Mkandawire (38) at a hotel in Mahipalpur. Reports further indicate that the NCB officials are still searching for a South African to whom the women were supposed to deliver the consignment.

Officials in India said the Tanzanian suspect told interrogators that she had been staying at an apartment in Vasant Kunj since January this year and was working on behalf of the South African.

She is said to have visited India nine times since 2006 as well countries like South Africa, Ecuador and Kenya. NCB officials say the Tanzanian woman was a conduit between the carrier and suppliers in New Delhi. She kept the cocaine in Delhi and supplied it as per the demand from local consumers.

Meanwhile, President Magufuli tasked the newly swornin Commissioner General of the Immigration Department, Dr Makakala, to overhaul the department to get rid of what he described as 'rot' within the sensitive institution.

The president ordered an immediate stoppage on the issuance of travelling documents to foreigners and at the same time ensuring that the department generates revenues to the state coffers.

President Magufuli referred to the Bohra community religious congregation in Dar es Salaam that attracted some 32,000 delegates from all over the world last year but revenues collected from the visitors have not been disclosed so far.

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