EDITORIAL: CCM DIRECTIVE ON POLICE CONDUCT COMMENDABLE

Thursday March 17 2022
By The Citizen Reporter

The ruling CCM last weekend did something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The party’s Central Committee criticised the Police Force, and directed the government to investigate its conduct, saying the security organ’s reputation was being tarnished by the actions of some of its members.

Of particular concern was the implication of police officers in the deaths of civilians in Mtwara and Tanga regions in recent months.

However, accusations of brutality, victimisation of civilians, political bias, and institutionalised corruption levelled against the Police Force are nothing new. They have been there for as long as one cares to remember, but had largely fallen on deaf ears until CCM’s surprise announcement last Saturday after the CC meeting.

With its reputation in tatters, former Inspector General of Police Saidi Mwenda embarked on a much-publicised drive to clean up the force in 2009. Assuming that Mr Mwema did succeed, it is safe to conclude that police have since relapsed to their bad ways, or even worse.

Now that CCM has spoken, Tanzanians hope that comprehensive and far-reaching measures will be taken to reform the Police Force, and ensures that it serves Tanzanians in line with its constitutional mandate.

This desire stems from the fact that CCM seems to have finally come to its senses, bearing in mind that the party was for a long time viewed as the chief beneficiary of the Police Force’s lack of political neutrality over the years. CCM’s concern shows that there finally could be light at the end of the tunnel.

Advertisement

The confirmation on Monday by Home Affairs minister Hamad Masauni that the government had received CCM’s directive, and was taking appropriate measures is a good start.

The time has come when the government should not continue to turn a blind eye to police excesses. The Police Force is not beyond redemption.


PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

Concerns have time and again been raised over instances of non-compliance with environmental conservation regulations among some manufacturers.

The overriding issue has been to what extent some of the inspected factories treat wastewater before it is discharged from the plants. The impression being created is that the relevant authorities are not doing enough to curb environmental pollution by factories.

Whether environmental impact assessments were conducted before permits were issued is anyone’s guess.

The government has on a number of occasions issued deadlines to errant companies to comply with environmental conservation rules, and we hope that it has been making the necessary follow-ups.

Environmental conservation is a matter of life and death that must not be taken lightly.

As Tanzania strives to industrialise and transform into a middle-income economy in the next few years, there is a need to ensure that the environment is protected for the sake of present and future generations.