11 October 2017

Tanzania: TPDF Chief Beefs Up Waterway Security

THE Tanzania People's Defence Forces has beefed up security in the country's water bodies, sealing off serious threats that existed in the areas between 2008 and 2012.

This was revealed by Chief of Defence Forces General Venance Mabeyo on Monday during a televised programme in one of the local TV stations.

General Mabeyo revealed that during the period under review, the country was facing serious security challenges along the Indian Ocean, Lake Tanganyika and Nyasa due to piracy.

"Ships entering the country were captured by pirates ... and some of them had to use alternative routes to South Africa, which largely affected the economy of the country... pushing commodity prices up," the General said, pointing out that the Naval Command had since worked hard to ensure that the security in the areas was strengthened so that similar incidents do not occur.

The CDF further noted among other security concerns, through the same route to include human trafficking.However, steps were being taken to further strengthen the security in Lake Nyasa and others.

"With technological advancement crimes are carried out differently, our security personnel on that note must be well trained and educated to be able to make use of the sophisticated tools," said the CDF.

He pointed out that factors such as the level of education should also be key, to help the military personnel adapt to modern equipment and tools among other roles as per requirement.

General Mabeyo requested the Government's support for the army to acquire up-to-date equipment that can match up to the current time. Elaborating on the increased arms which are being owned by civilians, the CDF pointed out that Tanzania was a host country to people fleeing their countries due to conflicts and that some people are taking advantage of the situation.

"As a country we have to control our own weapons from spreading around and then identify how these arms are making their way in," noted the CDF.

He reiterated the need to examine goods coming into the country at all times to make sure that the few majority are not using the loophole to bring unwanted things. On the other hand, the CDF has called upon the support from the public to identify people in their areas who they deem suspicious.

Regarding cheats on military employment, he said the people identifying themselves as agents for assisting people to get employment at TPDF were imposters. He observed that President Magufuli recently made it clear that fresh recruits should be sourced from the National Service (JKT).

According to him, military employment posts were normally announced publicly in media institutions with required qualifications and the procedures of applications are explained.

"The same advertisements are usually displayed on the notice boards at the district level for fresh recruits to apply through JKT... it is probably this time that cheating may occur," observed General Mabeyo.

He revealed that some of the responsible individuals from the military had been identified and measures taken against them, adding that the military was still probing the matter to identify others that may have been involved in the racket.

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