Mpanda — THE government has warned that it will not hesitate to revoke citizenship and repatriate to their respective countries of origin, newly naturalised Tanzanians who would be found engaging in criminal activities and other social vices.
The warning was issued to all refugees from neighbouring countries living in refugee settlements in the country, such as Katumba and Mishamo in Mpanda and Tanganyika District in Katavi Region.
In another development, the government has turned down citizenship applications from 3,100 refugees from neighbouring Burundi for various reasons.
Addressing a public rally at Katumba refugee settlement, the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, also threatened to revoke citizenship certificates of 7,551 refugees that the State had approved, if they didn't collect them.
"We have reliable information that some of the refugees who had been granted citizenship were engaging in criminal activities, including poaching. What's worse, some of you are encouraging your compatriots to refrain from buying goods from shops run by Tanzanian citizens; this is unacceptable as it is contrary to our traditions and culture," the minister remarked.
Mr Nchemba is on two day working tour of Katavi Region which begun on Tuesday, and today he is scheduled to tour and address public rally at Mishamo refugee settlement.
In his welcoming remarks, the Katavi Regional Commissioner, Mr Raphael Muhuga, called upon Burundian refugees accommodated at Katumba refugees settlement who wanted to return home to do so as the doors were open, so long as they followed the formal procedures.
Meanwhile, the newly naturalised Tanzanians at Katumba refugees settlement requested the ministry of home affairs to deregister religious sects which were fuelling religious and ethnic discrimination.
One of them, Mr Yusuf Shabaan, told the minister that some clerics were prohibiting people to marry those belonging to other faiths.
On his part, the Officer-in-charge of Katumba refugee settlement, Mr Athman Ingwe, told the minister that the verification exercise of refugees from Burundi at the settlement started in June this year and had covered about 11,329 refugees (equivalent to 5,134 families) so far.
The Member of Parliament for Nsimbo Constituency, Mr Philip Mbogo, called upon the government to give civil education to new citizens, to enable them fully understand the laws of the land and the country's Constitution.