13 February 2017

Tanzania: Govt Releases More Names of Suspected Drug Traffickers

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda, who is conducting a relentless campaign against drug trafficking, released a list of 97 names of people accused of conducting the illegal trade.

Mr Makonda said his list contains names of bigwigs who have served in previous governments.

The youthful RC handed his list, contained in a pink manila folder, to the new Commissioner for Drug Control and Enforcement Authority, Rogers Sianga on Monday.

Mr Makonda, without naming the suspects, said they included high-ranking officials straddling the three previous administrations - Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995), Benjamin Mkapa (1995-2005), Jakaya Kikwete (2005-2015).

Mr Sianga, who was appointed to the position last week, promised to keep up with the momentum made by Mr Makonda saying the fight had just begun.

Last week, Mr Makonda named 65 people suspected of being involved in a drug trafficking ring, including prominent businessmen, politicians and security officers.

Twelve police officers in the list were dismissed from service as investigations are ongoing. Some of them were charged.

Meanwhile, the new anti-drug chief said he would be reviewing all drug-related cases in order to ascertain whether there were judges or magistrates who may have been biased or influenced in their rulings.

The public has long complained that government officials or prominent persons have often been spared prosecution for various crimes.

The anti-drugs campaign has been backed by President John Magufuli who told the security forces to crack down on the illegal trade and has called upon Tanzanians to support his government's efforts in the war.

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