Dar es Salaam. Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Rukwa Mathias Nyanda could be counting himself as a lucky person after he narrowly escaped a suspension order from President John Magufuli.
Instead, the wrath fell on his subordinate who was acting on his behalf during the time that what annoyed the Head of State occurred.
President Magufuli – who is on a tour of duty for Rukwa Region – made a phone call to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro, ordering him to suspend Assistance Commissioner of Police (ACP) Polycarp Urio.
Mr Urio is accused of failing to implement an order by Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola to immediately transfer nine police officers from Laela Police Station in Rukwa.
The nine are suspected of being involved in corruption and unfair treatment of suspects.
“I want you to suspend a police officer by the name of Polycarp Urio right now…I will give you further instructions later,” he told Sirro on the phone.
Speaking when he made a stop at Laela, President Magufuli had asked RPC Nyanda to explain why he had not adhered to the minister’s order to transfer the nine police officers.
But in response, Mr Nyanda said he was not aware of the names of police officers involved.
“I am not much familiar with the case because I was not in the office for some days. ACP Urio was acting on my behalf but he did not give me information [about the minister’s order] until I heard about it in the media,” RPC Nyanda said.
He said upon returning, he asked Mr Urio about the names of the nine but the latter could not produce them.
President Magufuli then gave the RPC some time to make a close follow up on the matter and update him accordingly.
Things changed abruptly when he (President Magufuli) visited Laela Police Station only to realise that the names of the nine were still there and that there was no clue of any action being taken against them.
“I have decided to suspend Mr Urio today because it pains me a lot when the leader of the police force ignores orders from the minister,” he said.