Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Why Tanzania fails to control illicit drug trafficking
Despite government’s efforts to end the social ill of drug trafficking across its borders, more and more Tanzanians have been arrested in connection with this illegal business outside the country. There are reports abound about a number of Tanzanians having been hanged after being caught with the drugs outside the country notably in China. According to other reports being circulated, in Hong Kong alone there are about 200 inmates from Tanzania, many of them serving long sentences in jail, while several others are awaiting completion of the hearing of drug trafficking cases with which they were charged. As a result, an unknown number of Tanzanian young men and women are languishing in some other foreign jails all over the world, having been caught acting as conduits for dangerous drugs. It is very disappointing to note that, no one among the higher government authorities has been held responsible in connection with the issue. Neither the police nor the central government has bothered much about the issue which has now tarnished the good name of the nation. The police force however, has often indicated that it works day and night to curb the menace, but it seems that its efforts are bearing no or little fruit. Tanzania’s alarming reputation as a notorious drug trafficking point has started to affect citizens travelling through other foreign international airports, news reports show with the Dar es Salaam city being the centre of drug cartels dealing with heroin, mandrax and cocaine. Nonetheless, drug trafficking remains a problem in Tanzania because of complicity from officials, Commissioner of Immigration Services Permits and Passes Dawson Mongi was recently quoted as saying by the traditional media. "You cannot fight drugs without defeating corruption in the country," Mongi said adding that, drug trafficking across the border has tarnished the country’s image. Addressing concerns that the government is not doing enough on that front, Minister for Home Affairs Emmanuel Nchimbi said recently that, the high number of drug-related arrests reflects the government's seriousness in dealing with the problem. The Minister of State in Prime Minister’s office responsible for policy, co-ordination and Parliamentary affairs William Lukuvi, said recently that, a new law to fight drug trafficking is being drafted to curb drug users and intensify traffickers. He said the country’s law is a bit relaxing as drug traffickers are fined 500,000 shillings ($309) for being found in possession of 10 billion ($6.1 million) worth of drugs. “This is nothing," Lukuvi said adding that Tanzania need to have laws that would impose stern punishments and to do away with fining people. Tanzanians have been put through the dehumanizing inspection at various international airports in the world following growing concern of the big number of young travelers from Tanzania being caught with drugs in various countries in the world. The Hong Kong security officers once noted that, Tanzanian youths are being turned into mules by drug barons in the country and this is due to weakness, lax, corrupt, unpatriotic government employees cum most of the government high ranking official including ministers, directors and government secret agent officers.