CRIME

Among recent crimes committed in Tanzania are the following:

The London Times reported on 27th November that British business man Antony Griplas, who ran ‘Adventure Afloat’ (which offered tourists outings on traditional dhows) had been shot twice in the abdomen when a gang of 10 raiders burst into his beach house at Chukwani, a small community on the west coast of Unguja, Zanzibar’s main island. The pirates used a boat to approach the house where the family was asleep after spending the day dolphin watching. Mrs Griplas gave them the contents of the safe and pleaded with them to take anything that they wanted from the house but they shot Mr Griplas with a pistol.

15 bandits recently overran the Mombo Police station in Korogwe district, shot and wounded the Officer Commanding the Station, the proprietor of a nearby filling station and his son -Nipashe

The Daily News reported that five armed bandits raided the Buhemba gold mine in Musoma on 11 th October and abducted three white South African employees after their attempt to break into the mine’s strong room failed. When the police gave chase to the two vehicles that they had also hijacked, the thugs beat up the white men injuring one on the right leg with a machete. There was then an extraordinary but sad sequel. Majira reported that three Musoma police officers and two suspected criminals had died in a car accident on December 6 in Tarime district. The Mara Regional Police Commander said the officers were taking the criminals to Tarime’s border town of Sirari where they said their heavily armed colleagues were hiding. The driver of the police vehicle, himself a police officer, escaped unhurt but was then said to have ‘lost his mind’ at the police station and shot himself dead. The suspected bandits are alleged to have taken part in the incident at Buhemba Mine.

A secondary school student, Steven Mwinyijuma who is facing terrorism charges in a Kisutu Court, was sponsored by a Palestinian citizen to do investigations in the country on how US citizens conducted their lives. According to allegations in a preliminary inquiry, conducted before the case is committed to the High Court, Mwinyijuma was being sponsored by Mohamed Haji. It was alleged in court that the accused got terrorist training at Nacostec College and had performed surveillance operations on Western targets in Kenya, Djibouti, Mozambique and Tanzania. Mwinyijuma was found with a map showing the security set up at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam and a book containing telephone numbers of many leaders including President Mkapa and Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete -Majira.

IRIN reported on September 1 that President Mkapa had repeated his earlier accusations that refugees were to blame for the increase in small arms in the country and said the problem could be solved by creating safe havens for civilian refugees within their own countries. The President said that, although the problem of guns had not yet reached ‘crisis level’, refugees were to blame for an increase in armed crime and trafficking of weapons in western Tanzania. In his speech, before destroying over 1,000 small arms in the Dar es Salaam, the President said that he was pushing for the international community to adopt a system of creation of safe havens in conflict-torn countries, with a view to preventing internal strife from spilling into neighbouring countries, who must then bear the burden of refugee influxes.

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