ILALA Municipal Council has mounted a special operation to evict beggars from the streets with Municipal Executive Director (DED) Jumanne Shauri saying that the exercise will be successful.
According to Mr Shauri, similar operations were mounted in previous years, but could not succeed due to lack of specific municipal by-laws to deal with such a group of people.
The municipal director spoke of the campaign in Dar es Salaam on Thursday at a special seminar organised by his office for newly elected local government leaders, including chairpersons.
According to him, the newly enacted by-laws impose a 200,000/-penalty for any person found engaging in begging and in case an individual commits the offence for the second time such a person is supposed to be taken to court and if he or she is found guilty they will be liable to a penalty of 300,000/-or face a jail sentence of not more than 12 months.
“For children, we have introduced their centre in Msongola. However, our social welfare officers will have to look into the actual needs of the centre’s services. The rest will be re-united with their families,” said Mr Shauri, adding that:
“For adults, once captured, they will be photographed and taken directly to court, then be taken back to their home villages.”
The DED noted that all beggars had sponsors who rented them rooms in Kigamboni Municipal Council under an agreement of being paid some of the money collected by the beggars from the streets.
Sponsors are also hunted, and once apprehended, will face same punishments, according to the DED.
“Even those with nowhere to sleep, but spend nights sleeping in various buildings or on corridors in the city, will also be punished.”
The Ilala municipal director also observed that such kind of people (with nowhere to sleep) had been paying some amount of money (from 500/-) to buildings’ owners or any authorised person for services.
“Owners are also to experience same punishments as sponsors. The operation is a non-stop exercise as we look forward to hiring city militias in future for day and night operations.
We are confident that we will win this fight since court magistrates have by-laws to lead and guide them in decisions making. Previously, they failed to convict any offender due to lack of specific legal directives,” insisted Mr Shauri.
It was further noted that for persistent offenders, whose faces would be appearing in front of the court more than two times, the by-laws give the mandate to magistrates to impose the punishment (beyond cash money penalties or not more than12 months in jail).
Responding to what the municipal by-laws state on those who give money to beggars, the DED said that it was well specified that once found, one would be liable to pay 200,000/-.
However, he pointed out that the operation would stick on beggars themselves, stressing that the exercise would be successful, hence, givers of money would have nobody to give or help.