Desist working as mercenaries, state warns

THE government has warned Tanzanians against working as mercenaries and fighting for foreign armies, insisting the act contravenes the law of the land.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Dr Stergomena Tax issued the warning in Dar es Salaam yesterday, while clarifying on a Tanzanian student — Nemes Tarimo (33), who died last year while fighting for Wegner group, a Russian privately owned Military Company.

It is reported that the Tanzanian died in the battlefields of Bakhmut, Donbas in Ukraine, fighting on the side of a Russian private military company.

Minister Tax said it was strictly forbidden by the Constitution for Tanzanians, especially those living in the diaspora, to work or be engaged as a mercenary and fight for foreign armies.

“It is to be recalled that Tanzanian citizens are not allowed to join any army or fighting groups in other countries except for the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF),” she told a well-attended press conference.

Much as she expressed her grief and extended the government’s condolences to the bereaved family, relatives, friends and all Tanzanians, Dr Tax said that the fate that had befallen on a youthful Tanzanian should have been avoided, if he had observed the country’s laws as well as the laws of the country that he was living in.

Dr Tax also counseled Tanzanians planning to travel abroad and those living in the diaspora to kindly be obedient to the laws, rules and regulations in the respective country they are living in or travelling to, so as to avoid being embroiled in trouble.

She counseled the diaspora and all Tanzanians to desist from engaging in activities or acts that lead to tarnishing the country’s good image, instead, encouraged them to be good ambassadors and exhibit highest degree of discipline and patriotism wherever they are.

“Tanzanians in diaspora must bear in mind that they have Tanzania as an indelible mark with them and hence, they must be good ambassadors by not indulging into criminal and other illegal acts,” she insisted.

Giving more details about the late Tarimo, minister Tax said he died on October 24th last year at the battle field.

Dr Tax said that the casket carrying his remains was currently on the way from Russia to Tanzania, it will be handed to his family for other burial procedures.

She said the late Tarimo joined Moscow Technological University (MIREA) in 2020 for a Master Degree course in Business Informatics.  However, the minister added that Mr Tarimo was sentenced to seven years in jail per Russian laws after being convicted with criminal offences, which she did not detail.

“My ministry received further information from the Russian Federation ascertaining that while in jail, Mr Tarimo was offered and accepted an offer of serving for Wegner group to fight the war in Ukraine, in promise that he would be paid some money and would be released from jail. However, he died while on the battlefield in Ukraine,” said the minister.

Ms Tax however assured diaspora in different countries and students studying in Russia of the government’s support through the embassy.

“We assure them that they will continue to get all needed support and ensure their safety all time of their stay,” she said.



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