19 April 2017

Tanzania: MPs Express Concern Over 'Increasing Series of Killings'

Photo: The Citizen
Police inspect a vehicle after 4 police officers were killed near a bank (file photo).

Dodoma — Parliament is concerned by the wave of killings happening in the country with lawmakers attempting to make some interventions.

This comes as just last week eight police officers were shot dead in Kibiti District, Coast Region.

The officers were slain on Thursday evening by suspected armed gangsters.

Yesterday, some MPs wanted the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, to suspend all businesses and allow lawmakers to debate the issue as a way to make the government accountable and allay fears.

After the Questions and Answers session in the morning, six MPs took turns to seek the Speaker's guidance with five of them demanding the House businesses suspended to debate the killings.

Mr Doto Biteko (Bukombe-CCM) was the first to ask Mr Ndugai to allow the House to debate the killings of the eight officers citing Standing Order number 69 that allows MPs to table such a motion.

"I want us to debate this for two reasons. First, the House will order the government to come with a strong and complete statement on the wave of killings and particularly that of law enforcers. Secondly, our debate and government statement will help allaying fears to the public. If police are being killed like that, what is the situation to normal citizens?" he said.

He was then followed by Cosato Chumi (Mafinga Urban-CCM); Joseph Kakunda (Sikonge-CCM); and Amina Mollel (Special Seats-CCM) who all reiterated what had been said by the previous lawmaker. Mr Masoud Salim (Mtambile-CUF) also took the floor and asked the same matter. "We really need you to apply your wisdom to allow MPs to debate this issue," he said.

Mr Ndugai informed the House that the Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Committee was meeting the government in the afternoon to talk about the same issue.

"So, you can see even the committee is following the same issue," he said.

He then allowed Home Affairs minister Mwigulu Nchemba to share some updates on the matter.

"Our law enforcers met this accident while on the line of duty. That's very bad for all of us. However, the government has taken it seriously and I won't divulge more details because investigations are going on," said Mr Nchemba.

"I would like to assure the citizens that the government is working day and night to protect them with their properties. Even the police officers shot dead were doing the same job. They should also feel free to collaborate with the government in revealing the crimes and criminals," he added.

Mr Ndugai then asked the MPs to remain calm as the government and the committee were working on the matter.

"Let's give time to our committee and the government for now and we will deliberate it later if need it be. I also talked to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa this morning and he assured me that all security organs were working on the matter," he said.


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