Let’s nip banditry madness in the bud
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Editorial
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‘Enough is enough,’ bests describe the recurring ambushes and brutal killing of police officers in different parts of the country. To make matters worse, the perpetrators rob their victims of weapons and ammunition.

This is dangerous to say the least as the purpose and use of these weapons remain a mystery. For how long will this continue? This is a question constantly boggling the minds of all level-headed citizens in the country.

And, the latest attack, where eight police officers were gunned down at Uchembe Village, Kibiti District in Coast Region, last Thursday added insult to an injury and this time, the bandits indeed stirred a hornet’s nest as the police force’s level of tolerance has reached maximum.

In retaliation and a few hours after the barbaric attack, police officers launched an operation that saw them tracking down the bandits and managing to locate their temporary hideout and gunning down four of the outlaws before recovering two of the stolen weapons.

And, yesterday, a sombre mood gripped the Kilwa Road Police Barracks where thousands gathered to bid farewell to the bodies of the fallen heroes who died in line of duty. The tense atmosphere and the tears of mourners was a clear message that something should be done to end such atrocities.

The police force is not taking this lightly, besides launching an operation to make sure that the perpetrators pay for their sins, the Home Affairs Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba had no kind words for the bandits. He said that the government had increased the number of police officers and facilities in Kibiti District and that plans are afoot to form a special police zone. Nchemba went on to promise that those who are responsible for the killings will pay the price.

The steps by the government and the police force to get to the bottom of this issue are commendable. Besides police officers and local government officials being attacked and killed in the area, the general public in Kibiti lives in fear.

Those interviewed by the media could not have their names written for security reasons and they were not free to divulge information. “I cannot even mention my name here because of security reasons, they will send a text message warning and threatening me once they discover that I have been talking to you,” said one of the residents. So, though the police officers are planning to do everything in their powers to weed out the social rot, they need “wananchi’s” support and cooperation for them to succeed.

It is therefore vital for the general public to join hands with the government and make an end to this madness. The police on the other hand should trade an eye for an eye. No lenience is required when dealing with bandits and they should adopt deterrent measures to make sure that those would be bandits will think twice before joining the bandwagon.

Plans to make the area a police zone is good, but in addition, they should militarise the area and send the army to put a permanent base, hunt out the outlaws and secure the area. This is so because this nonsense should just stop. Period!

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