Bunge tasks govt to take action on Panya Road

THE National Assembly has directed the government to immediately take action on the deteriorating state of security that now faces residents in some regions, especially Dar es Salaam due to the recurring incidents of armed robbery, assault and killings carried out by juvenile criminals famously known as Panya Road.

In recent years, the group has been terrorising residents in urban areas with Dar es Salaam dwellers bearing the brunt. Lately, the group has been reported to carry out the illegal acts in some localities in Tabata, Kinyerezi and Mbezi Beach areas in Dar es Salaam region.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Tulia Ackson issued the directive to the government on Thursday after Special Seats CCM MP Bahati Ndingo and Segerea CCM MP Bona Kamoli asked her to allow the Parliament to deliberate on the state of security that has now become a matter of concern.

Reports were awash in social media and in main stream media on Wednesday, stating that the armed gang of youths mid this week invaded some houses at Kawe Mzimuni in Dar es Salaam, killing a student from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) of the University of Dar es Salaam, including injuring some residents.

Ms Kamoli and Ms Ndingo requested Speaker Tulia to allow the Parliament to deliberate on the subject, treating it as a matter of agency.

When building her argument, Ms Ndingo told the House that Panya Road were now becoming a serious threat to the safety and security of people and their properties in Dodoma, Dar es Salaam and regions.

According to the legislator, the armed youths also targeted some Members of Parliament in Dodoma region thought none of them (MPs) lost life.

When responding to the two MPs’ request Speaker Tulia said the matter fell short of meeting the parliamentary rules of being discussed on emergency basis but found it necessary to direct the government to take it as a special subject that needed swift action.

“It is true that some MPs are among the victims of the illegal acts carried out by the group. Though none of them lost live we understand that their survival were at risk. Let me be clear, I am not calling for swift action simply because MPs are among the victims. I am doing so because we need to protect lives and properties of Tanzanians,” said Dr Tulia.

The band of marauders, since 2015, has been wreaking havoc in some cities and other urban areas, making away with properties. In so doing the armed youths have been killing people, including injuring others.

Despite police carrying out some operations the group has been disappearing and reemerging. It would be recalled that in 2015 police carried out a special operation in 2015, arresting about 500 youths.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) William Mkonda, the Acting Commander of the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police, stated on Wednesday that they have launched a manhunt after the murder of Maria Paschal (24), a second-year student at the University of Dar es Salaam School of Journalism and Mass Communications, by a group of criminals during a home invasion.

Armed with machetes and other lethal weapons, the criminals, who number was over ten, broke into the Kawe neighbourhood in Dar es Salaam.

They randomly entered residences and took items, including cell phones, from occupants.

When they arrived at Maria’s house, they broke down doors to force their way inside the 15-room house. They killed the 24-year-old student, while injuring three other people.

ACP Mkonda emphasised that anyone in Tanzania who despises crime should condemn and denounce the act, while urging individuals to use legal means of making a living.

In order to combat the same criminality in their communities, he also urged Dar es Salaam residents and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to improve community policing.

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