AFTER a brief lull gun-toting criminals are out of their lair again and are brandishing deadly weapons, shooting and killing hapless, innocent citizens.
Early this week, suspected bandits shot and killed three people including a police officer at Majawa in Kibiti Distric. The gruesome incident occurred on Tuesday at a farm and forest products levy collection centre.
The thugs left behind a confounding message on leaflets saying they did not want the levy collection point to continue operating. These were tax haters, it seems. It was charged in the message that “poor people were being cheated out of their earnings and property.
They mentioned charcoal in particular. It is incredible that upright members of the society should end levy collection effort in this fashion. This is utter criminality. This country could turn into a battle zone if all tax collectors were hunted down and shot by hoodlums who dislike paying taxes. What happened at Majawa on Tuesday boggles the mind, to say the least.
The criminals should be arrested and interrogated thoroughly. We are told that the six-strong gang arrived at the levy collection point at 8:00 pm riding two motorcycles and brandishing machine guns. They shot and killed an inspection officer and a security guard.
When the police arrived, one of their number was killed. The motive behind the killing must be unearthed. It is incredible that such a heinous act should be prompted by the mundane effort of collecting government levy. Although we do not wish to prejudice any legal proceedings, the killers must face justice.
This social evil, it appears, has become an incurable cancer in this country. The saddest part of this unfortunate scenario is that not only do these psychopaths deprive their victims of their hard-earned prosperity; they also maim or kill people.
The current crop of armed robbers is, to say the least, ruthless, merciless and evil. Before these times, these evil forces in this country carried out their nefarious and diabolical activities at mid-night. But now they strike even in broad daylight.
Then, like the incident in Kibiti District, they disappear ridding on motor bikes devil-may-care style, after a seemingly easy stink. The police have been given the mandate to protect. What shocks this nation is what appears to be a large number of illegal firearms in highly dangerous hands.
These include AK47s, machineguns and high velocity pistols. Some of the guns have been stolen from military armories in neighbouring countries.
What the Police Force should do is mobilise good Samaritans to show its agents where illegal gun holders are located and, if possible, where they hide their arms. Bandits and other gun totters live in homes where it is difficult to hide their activities.