LOCAL chiefs in Mara Region have appealed to the government to continue strengthening state security and defense organs to enable the region to remain peaceful.
Chief of Wazanaki chiefdom, Mr Japhet Wanzagi, made the appeal during a news conference held in Musoma Township on Wednesday.
Chief Wanzagi noted that the region has been embroiled in killings of people fueled by cattle rustling, land conflicts and deceptive soothsaying, which have been contained by state organs in collaboration with the community including traditional elders.
“The police force and other state organs have done a great job to contain the situation, we applaud them and urge them to continue with their operations, so that the peaceful atmosphere in Mara is maintained,” the local chief observed.
For his part, the Chief of Bunda, Mr Masanja Deus Masanja, noted with concern that there had been gruesome killings of people in the region which have been controlled by police.
“Even those who are speaking in defense on the pretext of human rights are aware that the police are there to ensure such rights are adhered to by everyone,” he remarked.
The Chief and head of 12 clans in Tarime District, Mr Mwita Nyasibora Matinde, pointed out that traditional leaders in collaboration with the police in Tarime and Rorya Special Police Zone have done a lot in ensuring tranquility in the region.
Chief Wanzagi said the traditional leaders had met to discuss peace and security in the region before issuing the statement.
In a related development, Mara region residents have commended the Police Force for its efforts in fighting crimes, including armed robberies that had emerged recently.
They said, the incidences that are sometimes being done by family members and relatives hinders development at household levels and sometimes are unable to engage effectively in economic activities.
One of the residents, Mr Yusuph Wambura who is a leader of community policing said the police force has done a great job that helps in ensuring security in their areas.
“The robbers are instilling fear among members of the community and business men, they are destroying houses and other properties, some of them are with us in the streets, we commend the police force for acting accordingly,” he said.
He said the continued efforts by the police force and the government on taking measures on the robbery incidents will assure security and economic activities among people in the region.
For his part, Mr Mugale Chacha relative of one of the suspected robbers who was shot dead during the fire exchange with the police recently, suggested a need to enhance security in the surrounding areas.
He said his relative had been summoned and warned several times in the family and village meetings but he couldn’t change.
“The government and police force have to be working on the information from village chairpersons and executive officers as they are the one with crucial details that will help to contain robberies,” he said.
“Our relative Mugale lost his life after being shot by police officers, we have been asking him to stop engaging in robbery acts for a long time with no success, people were so tired of him he was possessing firearms that were being used doing the robberies,” he added.
He was of the view that there are people who aren’t ready to change their ways despite being counseled and even getting punishment for their illegal acts.
“There are some people who have even served jail sentences due to armed robbery, our expectations are, they will change their ways upon completion of their sentences, but they never change,” he noted.
In another development, residents of Mara region asked politicians to stop politicizing security matters for their own political interest.
They said, some of the politicians are pitting the police against citizens by using the recent fire exchange incident that resulted in the death of suspected robbers who were threatening the safety of people for a long time.
“Politicians should stop pitting the police against citizens by using the recent incident, they were robbers who are using forearms in killing people and acquiring money and other properties,” he said.
They also asked the police force to continue searching for other robbers including one known as Barassa Barassa who is still in the street.
“We are happy that the police are doing their best to contain the situation, earlier we thought that they had failed to capture them but they have proved us wrong after dealing with the robbers effectively,” added Mr Chacha.