19 April 2017

Tanzania: We Must Defeat Killers of Leaders, Police Officers

Photo: Daily News
Some members of the aniti-riot Field Force Unit (file photo).

These two attributes summarise the totality of a situation that people need for them to be able to engage in productive activities, grow and prosper socially and materially.

Over the years since independence, Tanzania has stood out as the proverbial island of peace in a generally troubles continent.

Visionary leaders have, however, been cautioning us since the days Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Abeid Amani Karume, that we should never take for granted the peace and security the country has been enjoying.

These attributes need to be vigilantly and jealously guarded if we are to thus remain--a land of peace, security and harmony.

Our history of serenity is what makes Tanzanians extremely worried over what have been happening now and then in recent times, as senseless acts of crime take place in some parts of our country.

Senseless, because the country has been witnessing attacks in which the targeted are just killed without having any property of theirs stolen. And when the killers exterminate our police officers and make away with their weapons, then people have every reason to worry, to doubt whether these are ordinary criminals our law keepers have to contend with.

It will take the people long to forget what happened in Tanga mid last year, when machete-wielding gangsters killed eight innocent people in Kibatini Village, after which they vanished without robbing anyone.

A year before in Dar es Salaam, an armed gang had attacked the Stakishari Police Station in Ukonga, killing seven people, including four police officers! Come Thursday, April 13 this year, and gangsters struck again, this time in, Rufiji District, Coast Region. Here, a vehicle carrying policemen who were returning from a patrol came under attack. Eight officers died and all the attackers escaped to a nearby forest.

Local government leaders

The murder of the eight officers in the line of duty came even as Coast Region residents continue to mourn 11 local government leaders killed over a period of six months--since October last year--all of them members of the ruling CCM.

It is no wonder reports indicate that erstwhile aspiring leaders in the region are apprehensive about picking up forms for the forthcoming grassroots and branch level party elections--for fear of their lives.

This is a dreadful situation and it needs to be addressed most urgently. We are a democratic country and circumstances that threaten an exercise that provides for popularly elected leadership, jeopardise the very core of a civilised society like ours.

Political leadership and the police are there for the service and protection of the citizenry, to ensure there is a climate of peace and security so that people can conduct their affairs without fear.

Attacks which target leaders and members of our police force, therefore, create a deep sense of despair to all except the perpetrators.

Our security organs must get to the root of this matter; they need to find out those behind the apparently motiveless killings, for, we aver, the motive is there. A hideous motive.

People with the suicidal courage that drives them to attack the police are dangerous; they are individuals who care little for their own lives and that of others. Theirs is an evil agenda, and we must not allow them to accomplish it.


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