THE Government has declared a two-month amnesty for individuals who own weapons illegally to surrender them, thereafter, they will face legal actions.
Speaking in Dodoma earlier this week during the launch of the month of amnesty to surrender weapons, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Jumanne Sagini said the government has set a period from September 1st 2022 to October 31st 2022 for people to surrender those weapons.
Deputy Minister Sagini expressed that the individulas should surrender the weapons to Police stations or local government offices or villages.
“Anyone found with illegal weapons after the period of amnesty will be dealt with as a criminal as stipulated in the arms and ammunition act,” he stressed.
He added:”We are aware that there are people who own weapons left by their relatives who have died, let me remind them that continuing to keep those weapons is a legal offence,” explained Mr Sagini.
In line with that, Mr Sagini also asked members of the special groups, who are not allowed to own weapons, also should surrender those weapons.
“There are those who considering their health and ages are not allowed to own weapons, we ask them to surrender them so that the weapons do not go to criminals who may threaten safety of citizens and their properties,” he emphasized the deputy minister.
He added that the Police Force in collaboration with various stakeholders will conduct a special national campaign that will involve regional and district security committees, religious institutions, the media and other stakeholders to sensitize people on why they should surrender the weapons.
For his part, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Camillus Wambura emphasized that no legal action will be taken against those who would voluntarily surrender their weapons.
IGP Wambura explained that a person to be found with an illegal weapon after the deadline will face legal action, stressing that it is better to use the set deadline to surrender the weapons.
“The government, through its announcement number (GN) 537 of June 26 this year, requires citizens to surrender the weapons in accordance with the conditions contained in the announcement,” he explained.
IGP Wambura also asked those who legally own weapons to comply with existing laws and regulations guiding the uses so that the weapons do not fall into the hands of criminals.
Moreover, IGP Wambura noted that for over three years, from January 2019 to June 2022, a total of 997 illegal weapons were seized as a result of various operations to prevent and combat crime and criminals.
“Out of those weapons, there are 52 weapons stolen from people who legally own them, this gives us a big and clear picture that there are still weapons that are illegally owned,” he explained.
He further said the operations to combat crimes were continuous, insisting that it was important that people who possess weapons illegally to avoid the hand of the law.