Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday said he supports the anti-narcotics crackdown declared by the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Paul Makonda. He ordered security organs to arrest and press charges against individuals implicated in the use and trading of illicit drugs regardless of their social status.
Speaking after swearing in various senior defence, security and prisons officials as well as ambassadors at the State House, President Magufuli was emphatic that nobody should be spared in the narcotics war.
“Anybody implicated in the (illicit) trade should be arrested and prosecuted” he said, adding: “This order should apply even to my wife Janeth if she were to be proven she is involved. The impact of illicit drugs has reached an alarming stage with the youth who constitute the country’s manpower being greatly affected.”
He directed the police to uncover the illicit drug chain by arresting users and pressure them to name sellers who would ultimately be compelled to name where they acquired their merchandise.
Dr Magufuli spoke after swearing in the newly appointed Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo, TPDF Chief of Staff, Lt General James Mwakibolwa, Commissioner General of Prisons (CGP), Dr Juma Malewa, Public Services Commission (PSC) Secretary, Mr Nyamhura Muhaji.
Also, ambassadors to France and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr Samuel Shelukindo and Paul Meela took the oath of office before the Head of State, who went on to hail Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ernest Mangu’s decision to suspend 12 police officers implicated by Mr Makonda last week for involvement in the drugs syndicate.
He said the IGP took the right decision, noting that the move has restored respect of the Police Force. Dr Magufuli revealed that the police chief overcame temptations from people who made several calls, offering all manner of advice before news to suspend police officers were released, noting that there were many other obstacles ahead.
“It is good that you (IGP) ignored their advice because if you did, that would have implied you are associated with them, and today you would have ceased being the IGP,” he said.
He asked the Judiciary to accelerate cases related to drugs, citing an alleged drug kingpin living in Lindi, who law enforcers have made little or no efforts to arrest and bring to justice. He directed that focus should now be on drug lords instead of the small fish.
“It is good that the Acting Chief Justice is here. It is disappointing that someone is arrested with drugs but his/her case doesn’t end. I am aware some bigwigs in the business planned to defend their Lindi accomplice… but make sure you abide with the law,” he said.
The President called on Tanzanians to join hands in the narcotics fight which he conceded was tough.
The President also witnessed the swearing-in of the new Director of Criminal Investigations, (DCI) Commissioner Robert Boaz by IGP Mangu.
He further challenged security organs to help the country in implementing its industrialisation drive.
“It is illogical that Tanzania imports uniforms while we are ranked among top cotton producers. Local textile mills could be given specifications of your requirements and produce your uniforms locally to enable the government save foreign currency,” he said.
In same line, he challenged the Prisons Department to play a part in in the construction of the central railway line from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro at standard gauge.
“Under these circumstances, Dr (Malewa the CGP), can’t the prisoners be engaged into quarrying for aggregates once the project kicks off? Let prisoners who serve long terms in jail work hard for the benefit of the country instead of staying idle,” he said. President Magufuli directed the new envoys to France and DRC to push for the country’s economic diplomacy by ensuring more investors are persuaded to come and invest in Tanzania.
He ordered the new secretary of public services commission to ensure the war against phantom workers is scaled up.
Earlier, the Head of State thanked retired CDF, General Davis Mwamunyange, for commendable services he had rendered to the nation, saying the government had recognised what had been done especially in grooming subordinate officers who are replacing retiring ones.
Last week, Dar es Salaam RC Makonda took the war against drug abuse and trading, ordering the arrest of five businessmen and 17 police officers, who are allegedly linked to illicit trade.
He also ordered the arrest of at least seven Bongo Flava artistes and Bongo Movie stars including Wema Sepetu, Khalid Mohamed alias TID, Dogo Hamidu and Babuu wa Kitaa, all of whom were questioned and made to spend the whole weekend behind bars.