Pinching from oil tankers is ‘kid stuff’ we cannot ignore


SCIENTISTS tell us that the making of today’s huge deserts or desertification as they call the process, started small; small dots of parched land that joined together to form bigger spots.

From the air, these spots look like the ugly ‘dandruff’ we see on the human skin. As on human skin, as on Planet Earth: The small white bits of dead skin which sometimes gather on the hair or falls on the clothes, so are ‘desertified’ soils carried away by the winds to fall elsewhere, leaving a trail of unproductive land behind.

We’re told that’s how the Sahara Desert graduated from Africa’s once prosperous bread-basket to hills of ‘dunes’ of infertile sands. In society, we also get our hardcore criminals in much the same; it may start with a family which has fallen apart; it may even start with solid families where the matriarch or patriarch ignores the tell-tale signals from their children’s body language. We’ve even heard testimonies from heads of state ‘did drugs’ from sheer pressure from peers at college.

These were lucky cases; from a combined system of health and parental care, they grew up to tell the story. But we aren’t so lucky – because we often find it funny and actually laugh, with potential drug pushers in our own homes. That’s the way the current war on narcotics developed from small-time discomforts to a national disaster.

Thankfully, newly appointed Drugs Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) czar General Rogers Sianga is now set to rail against this social scourge and the best we at TSN and the general public could do is wish him and his team resounding success in this war – by standing solidly behind them. Yet there’s another disaster in the making.

Though still obscure like the elusive, the young men and (even) women that we see scavenge oil tankers, notably along Mandela Expressway doesn’t bode well for this country.

And they are doing it in ‘broad daylight’ as any driver or mini-bus ‘daladala’ commuter would testify. Unverified estimates say the ‘scavengers’can pilfer anything between five to 20 litres en route the busy highway; It must be stopped before it gets rather unwieldy or descends into disaster like the drugs war.

As for those who thought Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda was involved in some kind kid-stuff, they should consider a tinder-box sweeping across the United Republic; No stone will be left sitting atop another, in the words of General Sianga.

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