Yes, all criminals must be rounded up, prosecuted


PRESIDENT John Magufuli has said that the government security apparatus will leave no stone unturned in its quest to unearth the notorious criminals who disrupt peace from time to time attacking citizens, killing some, maiming others and stealing property.

The president was visibly angry when he spoke bitterly about the spiralling spectre of criminality in the country. Addressing the ‘wananchi’ at Mkuranga on Thursday, Dr Magufuli said that all state security machineries have been unleashed on criminals.

The president also hinted that apart from harming innocent citizens, the felons also throw the nation’s status into disrepute and consequently, scare away foreign investors. He minced no words in declaring that no criminal will be spared in the crackdown on crime.

Yes, the president is right. Operatives in the impending war on crime should be accorded full support by all wellwishers. No stone should be left unturned in combatting crime.

The initiative is welcome. The Police Force should be primed properly to take criminals head on. The boys in khaki, who have a reputation for hard work and honesty, should take on all criminals ruthlessly in a quest to restore a sense of sanity in this country.

It is evident that hardcore bandits are out of their lair again and are hot on the heels of their victims. The hoodlums maraud, often at night, intent on stealing other people’s property.

They injure, main, rape or kill devilmay- care style in their forays. These are heinous atrocities. They use military style assault rifles, some of which they steal from police officers. It is outrageous and even frightening to realise that some of the guns brandished by robbers come from military arsenals. Some have been stolen from military armouries in neighbouring countries.

Other guns have been grabbed from local police officers. What shocks this nation is what appears to be a large number of illegal firearms in highly dangerous hands. These include Kalashnikovs (AK47s), automatic machine guns and high velocity pistols.

A recent campaign against illegal ownership of firearms pointed to a stark reality that too many arms were in the hands of heartless killers. It is on record that hardcore robbers also use bows and arrows, hammers, crow bars, pliers, screw drivers, knives, machetes and a whole array of others in their anti-social pursuits.

Yes, these anti-social miscreants must be rounded up and prosecuted. What the Police Force should do is mobilise good Samaritans to show state agents where illegal gun holders are located and if possible, where they hide their arms. Most bandits and other gun totters live in rented homes where it is difficult to hide their activities.

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