Tuesday, October 1, 2013

67 armed robbery suspects in ‘Kimbunga’ dragnet

AT least 67 armed robbery suspects have been nabbed in the first week of the second phase of a special operation against illegal immigrants, nicknamed ‘Kimbunga’ that focused on identification and deportation of aliens living in the country without proper accreditation. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Dar es Salaam on Monday quoting a special report compiled by the operation’s news team on the ground, some 134 illegal immigrants have been arrested in Kagera, Kigoma and Geita regions between September 21st and 27th, this year. “The assortment of weaponry impounded include one Sub-Machine Gun (SMG), a pistol, 17 muzzle guns (gobole) and 115 rounds of ammunition, 102 of them used for or SMG and the remaining 13 for pistol. Several pairs of Burundi military uniform were also impounded,” reads part of the statement availed to the media yesterday. Out of 134 illegal immigrants, 114 came from Burundi while 20 others originated from Rwanda. However, three residents were also arrested after being found giving refuge to illegal immigrants. Challenges related to the presence of illegal immigrants in the country has prompted an important meeting by Karagwe District Administration in Kagera Region, the area perhaps affected most in the last few years. The District Commissioner of Karagwe (DC), Ms Dari Rwegasira, has convened a meeting for local government leaders from different levels of administration. The aim of the meeting was to deliberate on the problem of illegal immigrants and agreed on concrete measures to redress the situation. The meeting, held at the Karagwe District Conference Hall, last weekend brought together ward and divisional executives and agreed, among other issues, on the need for all leaders, starting with the village level, to take responsibility and regularly check on arrival or presence of illegal immigrants in their places of domicile and report to higher authorities for appropriate action. “Cattle rustling, armed robbery, farm land boundary disputes and indiscriminate killing of civilians has frequently been reported in Karagwe District, hampering development activities. Some other places like Kimisi Forest in the district has become ‘no-go’ area as armed robbers took cover in the forest,” says the statement. To prove the magnitude of crime in the area, 271 litres of illicit brew, gongo, were impounded in the process in addition to fox hides, three kilogrammes of marijuana (bhang) and 12 under-size fishing nets. Among other deliberations at the end of the joint meeting include the compulsory commitment by local authorities at all levels in addressing the problem of illegal immigrants in a sustainable manner. All leaders had to take an oath of allegiance and sign the commitment which reads; “Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to stay in the villages, herds of livestock must be restricted and all sponsors of illegal immigrants who provide them with shelters and other necessities should be exposed for disciplinary measures against them,” entails part of the joint communiqué. It was further agreed that any of illegal immigrants still seen in villages should be reported, failure to which would lead to taking of responsibility by the respective local authorities. “Meticulous inspection should be carried out immediately to expose all illegal immigrants said to be hiding in the forest or livestock ranches located in the area. The inspection will involve different security and defence units and every village leadership should keep an up-to-date record of visitors to their places,” reads another item related to the agreement. Finally, delegates to the meeting agreed that all deported illegal immigrants should not be allowed to return to the country and all residence permits previously issued to aliens should be reviewed for verification.

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