Dar es Salaam. Human rights activists and political commentators have condemned Home Affairs minister Kangi Lugola, saying he has been acting irresponsibly.
They were reacting to the minister’s statement that the ministry had nothing to do with the disappearance of Mwananchi Communications Limited journalist Azory Gwanda.
They maintained that the ministry was responsible for the safety of Tanzanians and their properties.
Mr Lugola told journalists on Friday that he was aware of reports about Mr Gwanda’s disappearance, but said it was a personal affair, of which his ministry had nothing to do with it.
Mr Gwanda wrote deeply about killings by unknown people in Kibiti, Coast Region.
Those killed included government leaders and police officers.
Ruaha Catholic University political science professor Gaudence Mpangala said he had never expected to hear such a statement from the minister of Home Affairs.
According to Prof Mpangala, no one goes missing on his or her own volition, but one is either abducted or kidnapped and killed and it was upon the government to investigate the matter before responding to.
“Perhaps his statement would have been that no thorough investigation was undertaken and now it should be,” he said.
He said it was ironic to hear such a statement from the minister whose ministry was the one which assured the citizens that it would have investigated Mr Gwanda’s disappearance.
He urged Mr Lugola to fully comprehend his responsibilities as he was responsible for people’s security and their properties.
University of Dar es Salaam political science professor Mohammed Bakari is also surprised by Mr Lugola’s argument.
Prof Bakari recollects that the incident was reported at a police station and he is certain that as far as the constitution is concerned the ministry is responsible for people’s safety.
“It’s surprising to find someone who passed through the Police Force fails to have a full grasp of the law. To have a minister in the sensitive ministry like this who gives that statement is very dangerous.”
The national co-ordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Mr Onesmo Olengurumwa, said the nation was passing through a very difficult moment as appointments were not made on one’s basis of knowledge of laws.
Mr Olengurumwa said the ministry was required to look after people’s security not only on the roads but also in their homes including those disappearing or being abducted.