Bandits saga haunts Bunge

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SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai has condemned the rampant killing of police officers in the country, calming MPs to give the Parliamentary Security and Foreign Affairs Committee the chance to work on the issue before debating it.

This comes after several lawmakers yesterday demanded the House to suspend all other business and debate the spate of killings that have engulfed the Coast Region. The riled MPs pointed out that they fear for their lives and that of Tanzanians, arguing that if police officers could be ambushed and killed, then the fate of ordinary citizens was at stake.

“I concur with the rest (MPs) that this matter needs to be seriously addressed. It is sad to see this happening again and on behalf of the Parliament, I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Minister for Home Affairs.

“However, let the Committee hear from the Ministry of Home Affairs first and then we can deliberate on the issue here,” he said. The Committee, however, met yesterday after the speaker’s directive. The Speaker also asked Minister Mwigulu Nchemba to briefly explain the situation to the Parliament.

The Minister insisted that the government was working tirelessly to sort out the issue. “Our people are safe because the government is working seriously to bring the perpetrators to justice. “Dealing with this problem needs a serious security operation, which cannot be revealed here.

We are trying as much as possible not to expose our policemen,” he said. He called upon witnesses to come forward and asked citizens to cooperate with security organs, saying that people should not fear because the government will put in place measures to protect those who will provide information to the police and other security organs. It all started with Mr Dotto Biteko (Bukombe - CCM), who claimed that it was really disturbing and shocking to learn that eight policemen were shot dead by people who

are believed to be bandits in Makengeni Village, Kibiti, last Thursday. “If policemen who are armed can be killed like that, what will be the fate of ordinary citizens?

“This can happen anywhere and this is why we want the National Assembly to order the government to issue a statement, why these killings are continuing,” he lamented. His sentiments were echoed by Cosato Chumi (Mafinga Urban - CCM), Masoud Abdallah (Mtambile - CUF) and Amina Mollel (Special Sets - CCM).

They all wanted the matter to be discussed with serious urgency.

On Thursday last week, eight police officers were shot dead by bandits. The officers were ambushed in an area where government officials have also been targeted by bandits and at least seven have been killed in the past five months.

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